In March of 2017, I began looking for internship opportunities in the D.C. area. I go to school at George Washington University, and knew that I wanted to stay close to campus for the summer. I was hoping to intern somewhere meaningful, where I could not only gain positive experiences and learn useful skills, but also somewhere the work was important and had a positive impact on others. The Thomas Foundation checked all of those boxes. After meeting with Maryam, the Thomas Foundation’s Director of Grants and Operations, I felt that I could get on board with the goals of the Foundation.
The Thomas Foundation invests in people and their ideas to further help them and their local communities. Their emphasis on global development and long term community investment was something that particularly interested me. The Thomas Foundation’s philosophy on fostering long term community building is that art, business, education and community initiatives foster sustainable community development, especially through creativity and experimentation. This philosophy is something I agree with wholeheartedly – that there is more to a community than just its physical appearance and that it can be fostered and developed through many facets.
Some examples of grant partnerships the Thomas Foundation has entered into include a major (and much needed) renovation project at a high school in Senegal, a youth dance school that works to keep disadvantaged kids off the streets in Cali, Columbia, and the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, which works to nurture healthy child development and reduce the effects of trauma among children living in temporary housing programs in Washington, D.C. I am proud that I interned at such a meaningful place this summer and I look forward to continuing on as an intern in the Fall.