When a high schooler says they have a job, you would presume they might work at a fast food restaurant, are a lifeguard, babysitter or maybe landscaper. While their jobs are all constructive they truly don’t have much significance on their future.

Hi, I’m Grace. A few months ago I would have told you I was interested in a career field including art. I would have also told you I was intimidated by Graphic Design and never touched any Adobe or digital art program. I would have told you I hated my introduction to business class and wasn’t interested in marketing or the business world. On April 11, 2017, I sat down for an interview at United Way Services of Geauga County with this mentality.

After my last day as a marketing and engagement summer intern at United Way, I traveled to South Carolina to pursue a major in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing, with a head start in my field.

So what changed? The answer simply is the experience. I soon had responsibilities and tasks I was not use to. I had a real-coffee drinker-meeting-attender-emailer-mature-adult-job. I replied “no problem” to numerous tasks I had no idea how to even start.  I had never been a part of analyzing, planning, branding and implementing successful campaigns or volunteer events. While trial and error was an immense part of how I learned, my co-workers taught me more.

Kids coloring pieces for the United Way’s community puzzle at GCPL’s annual Family Fun Night at the Drive-in

The people at United Way work with a mission. While this mission is most of the time not said, it is demonstrated through their work ethic and big hearts. Yes, I gained experience toward my future career, but I gained just as much understanding about community and giving back. People in my community & yours wrestle with income, education and health. It’s a real thing and it takes everyone TOGETHER to improve lives.

Thank you, Geauga Growth Partnership, for connecting me to the United Way Internship, and over twenty other junior and senior high schoolers in Geauga County to other paid career focused internships towards our passions. Broadening my experience in my own community has been priceless. Thank you, United Way, for pushing me, and helping me find talents and interests I didn’t know I had.

 

Grace just started back at college, so she is currently reading a LOT of materials for her classes. She finds meaning in this Dr. Seuss quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” In that spirit, we share this link to a multitude of Dr. Seuss titles.