By Veronica Salazar
Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. (CBOB) works tirelessly to provide opportunities for children and youth affected by armed conflict and social injustice through education and empowerment. The Volunteer Internship Program (VIP) is essential to this initiative, as interns are responsible for much of the organization’s growth and success.
Being an intern at CBOB is unlike anywhere else; interns are treated as employees by encouraging independence and originality in a predominantly virtual sphere. With this type of structure, interns have the ability to work from anywhere, learn the ins and outs of an international non-profit, gain career-specific training, build a professional network, and more.
Now that the spring semester is coming to an end, we’d like to share what some of our interns have to say about their time being involved in VIP:
Amanda Gebelhoff (Creative Director):
“VIP has played a huge role in my professional and personal growth. I don't think I would be who I am today if it wasn't for CBOB and I'm so sad to leave this semester, but it is time for me to move on. I started out as a Graphic Design Intern who knew so little. I pushed myself to learn more and grow in my skills for CBOB and myself. I improved and expanded my scope on CBOB so much that I was promoted to Creative Director. I love my position in keeping the CBOB brand consistent and doing graphics for our larger events. I especially love interacting with other interns and helping them grow in their position. CBOB has always been a little family to me and I love all of the friends and connections I have made from being a CBOBer. I always recommend applying for a position with us to my friends or even people who ask me what I do for CBOB. Being part of VIP is a great experience for anyone looking to have a REAL job, not just getting coffee, and help run an organization that does truly inspiring and great things.”
Samira Amirova (Training Coordinator):
“VIP has been an investment for me. From careful decisions and insightful experiences, I couldn’t have enjoyed growing from any other organization. My past year in VIP has given me a mentor, practical skills, and well needed sass.” #RushCBOB
Nada Hussein (Student Chapter Coordinator):
“Through VIP, I have learned a lot about delayed gratification. Through the work that Children Beyond Our Borders does, you truly feel as though you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Though you do not see rewards of the work you do immediately, you know that someone will benefit from it tremendously. Working on the VIP team, I got to immerse myself in an environment where everyone you meet along the way is truly passionate about what they do!”
Jessie Stein (PR/Social Media):
“VIP has been a never ending learning experience. While I have learned countless new skills along the way, I have also learned how to strengthen skills I already had. The VIP experience taught me how to better manage my time to stay organized amongst the workload during hectic weeks. It also strengthened my skills working with a team and gave me more confidence in reaching out and asking questions when I needed help. I'm so grateful to have been given this opportunity and can't wait to incorporate these learning experiences in my career after graduation.”
Teagan Murphy (Campus Communications Liaison):
“So I've been with CBOB for 4 semesters and it has definitely helped me grow professionally. Many of the positions are entirely intern-run, so individuals could be assigned several important jobs. The experience I’ve gained has helped me move onto other positions and receive other opportunities. I applied for an internship at Southern Legal Counsel and they said I was the most experienced candidate they had because of the work I’ve done with CBOB. There’s so much room for growth while working with CBOB. I have watched several interns show their true potential and become promoted to positions such as Creative Director and Service Trip Director within one year of working for the organization. Supervisors are always looking for ways to improve the organization and listen to any ideas you might have. I proposed an idea to Andrea for a College Prep Mentoring Program for low-income high school students that has since taken off. I am now working on the program's development, and I was recently offered an official position as the Mentorship Coordinator. Overall, the VIP program provides an incredible opportunity for cultivating and demonstrating your potential.”
Sabrina Siegel (Graphic Design Intern):
“As a CBOB intern, I have been able to build my portfolio, meet passionate people, and work with a great organization. Because of this experience, I am a better designer and am more prepared for real client work.”
Joshua Everling (Fundraising Intern):
“I knew I had joined an awesome organization when I attended my first event. We traveled up to Alachua for a workshop with some children. The experience was incredible- I interacted with kids and CBOB members in a way that reshaped how I felt about my internship. I finally understood why everyone at CBOB cared so much about the organization. Once I knew why I was volunteering I felt that I had a responsibility to help CBOB become more involved in empowering children. I would consider my interns to be great friends and I will be sad to see my internship end. If I could say something to a prospective intern, it is to take every opportunity to go to events and fundraisers because they changed my whole world view.”
If you’re interested in joining our team, applications for our Summer Internship Program are now available!
Apply at chbob.org/apply. For more information about position descriptions, visit chbob.org/volunteer-internship-program. Applications are due April 9th.