I first got involved with Pass the Torch for Women Foundation back in 2017 when I joined the Project Grow program. As a junior at Indiana University (go Hoosiers!), I was still very unsure of what I wanted to do with my career. Project Grow provided me with the tools and support necessary to do some much needed introspection and consider how I could build a fulfilling career for myself. Inspired by Project Grow’s impact, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew that I wanted to give back to my community.
At the beginning of my senior year, I accepted a position at PTTFW as the Communications Lead Apprentice. I will never forget how excited I was when I found out that I had been offered the position! My junior year had been the most challenging year yet, and there were a lot of obstacles that I had to overcome if I was going to finish strong. I felt like this internship allowed me to have a voice, and I took (and continue to take) pride in the content that I have produced during my internship. I launched my own campaign centered around gratitude and wrote blogs in the hopes of empowering even just one person. However, I feel like the best part of my internship experience was that I got to be a part of the Foundation’s story, all while learning from the amazing women here at the Foundation.
PTTFW has been an integral part of my growth as a student, intern, professional, and especially as a person. If there is one thing I learned from my Project Grow cohort, it is that struggle is inevitable, but strength is a choice. I will never forget the time I met with my academic advisor and told her that I was having a hard time finishing my degree. She told me that the number one reason that students drop out of college is because they are the first in their family to pursue a degree full-time. I could not believe it! Seeing all of the other women in my cohort that were also first generation students was a huge wake up call. I realized that my struggle did not define me, it fueled me. Following what was easily the most challenging semester of my college career, I managed to make the Executive Dean’s List twice during my senior year, hold down two part-time jobs, publish three poems in local literary magazines, and accept an offer to join the 2019 Indianapolis Teach for America Corps! I am grateful for the impact that the Foundation has had on me, and I am looking forward to allowing that impact to reverberate through my experience as a teacher, in which I will take the lessons I have learned along the way and “pass the torch” to my students.
My internship has come to an end, but my involvement with the Foundation lives on. I am looking forward to staying engaged with PTTFW as a Developing Professional! As for future communications, stay tuned for some great content from the team’s newest intern, Julia Bluhm.