My Starfish Story – An Intern Perspective

Karley is a rising high school senior and has been interning with Starfish for almost a year now.  At our dinner in Baltimore this past April, Karley shared her “Starfish Story” with us – and what an inspiring story it is! Hear her story in Karley’s own words and get a glimpse into Starfish’s U.S. operations below…
 
“Hi, I am Karley White and I will start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I am a high school junior involved in lots of activities in an out of the school environment including student government, frisbee, coaching soccer and of course The Starfish Foundation.  
 
My Starfish story began with being fortunate enough to meet Beth through Hugh O’Brian Maryland Youth Leadership seminar last May, and then again in Chicago at the Hugh O’Brian World Leadership Congress. Both of these seminars were a very bright light in my world, changing a lot of my perspectives as a young adult. When I came home last July all I wanted to do was go out and  change the world; I felt like I needed to give back – do something, make change. Then as I was procrastinating summer assignments on Facebook, I came upon Beth’s post in the HOBY Facebook page that the foundation was looking for interns. Immediately I emailed her asking how I could get involved. Her reply asked for a resume and cover letter, both of which I did not have and was googling how to make one look nice. Soon we talked over the phone for an interview. I was so nervous. I told all my family they couldn’t come upstairs or make noise and I was just hoping to perfect it. Well, I guess I introduced myself nicely because not even 10 minutes later Beth so joyfully welcomed me to the team and reviewed my job as a marketing intern. I was absolutely thrilled, I was so happy to be apart of something great and knowing I would be devoting my time to help change the lives of students just like me earning an education. 
 
The past 8 or so months working with the foundation has been nothing short of inspiring and beautiful. Not only have I learned the true meaning of teamwork and synergy but I have also had so much opportunity to use my own creativity without a rubric guideline to follow. I work on a lot of short term projects, for example making a powerpoint, infographics, creating the Cafepress merchandise website, posting on the social media pages, etc. But it is not just me that works on it, it’s the flow of the collaboration that finalizes it all. We send it back and forth with edits or recommendations and always have deadlines to get it done. Also, the encouragement from everyone is certainly uplifting; there is never an email that goes by that is not concluded with thank yous and gratitude. To me there is no intimidating boss to intern type relationship, it is friend to friend working together for the common goal of making an impact. 
 
In conclusion, I feel as if I have gained more than I have given to the Starfish community and I have everyone on the team to thank for that. This experience continuously has been the uppermost value to me, it has been remarkable since the beginning. I consider myself lucky to say I am a part of this foundation and to have met and worked with the amazing people along the way. Thank you!”
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