Community Service from an Intern Perspective

Over the past several months, I have been working with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans as an intern. I chose to work with the organization for several reasons. First, being a native of New Orleans, I wanted to work on something that would make an impact in the community around me. I had heard about the organization back in high school in the years after Hurricane Katrina and had heard nothing but positive experiences about volunteering. The organization has allowed thousands of youth volunteers to get involved with the rebirth of New Orleans. Also, YRNO helps many different sets of stakeholders in the New Orleans community.

My job at YRNO is to develop the business plan for the organization. I take all of the information that Youth Rebuilding New Orleans has gathered on itself and I put it together in a cohesive plan. As a business major, I am able to put my skills that I have learned over the past four years to use and simultaneously help open up YRNO to a number of new opportunities. In order to apply for some grants and certain forms of funding, a business plan is a necessary part of the application process. Going forward, YRNO will be able to use my work to help with their funding process. YRNO receives its funding from multiple streams: selling homes to teachers, needed donations from individuals and companies, and from grants.

Ultimately, I view the experience as beneficial both for myself and for Youth Rebuilding New Orleans. I am lucky enough to gain valuable work experience with a local non-profit organization. YRNO benefits from having an intern come in and both write a business plan and update old strategies and tactics.  In the past several months, I have learned so much about the non-profit community of New Orleans. In working within the team, I now realize that everyone can make an impact in their own community with the right amount of effort. No matter what your background is, chances are that you possess some skill that can be used to benefit the community around you. Whether you have the ability to create your own non-profit, or you just have a solid work ethic to offer up to others, you can make an impact if you look in the right places.

-Erik Paskewich

Business Development Intern