Senior Rowan Blog contributor and Writing Arts and English major Skyla Everwine shares her experience working as a Grant Writing Intern for Project Little Warriors, a non-profit that practices yoga with kids in underfunded schools.
As the spring semester was wrapping up, I decided that I wanted to find a summer internship closer related to my majors.
As an English and Writing Arts major, I had a few internships under my belt already, each one with a different focus in the world of writing, and I even had one lined up for the coming fall semester. The root of my desperation for finding a summer internship was that even with everything I had already done, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduation. I had tentative backup plans, vague ideas, and more than enough people whispering in my ear what I should do, but none of it felt exactly right.
I had made multiple meetings with my advisor and the Office of Career Advancement, and one day just happened to be scrolling through ProfsJobs when I saw the listing for a grant writing job with Project Little Warriors. I had never done grant writing before or taken any technical writing classes, but I knew someone also doing a grant writing internship who had told me how much she loved it.
I had never heard of the organization, either, but when I clicked the listing and read the description, I was immediately sold before even looking at their website.
Project Little Warriors’ mission is “bringing mindfulness and self-love to younger generations by way of yoga and fitness,” which deeply resonated with me as someone who is very passionate about yoga and mental health.
The listing on ProfsJobs was for the fall semester, so I decided just to send them an email hoping that they were interested in someone for the summer. I got an email back within a couple days asking for an interview at their location in Haddonfield, NJ.
After interviewing with the President of the organization, Marialana, and the Treasurer, Nick, an Accounting major at Rowan (Hi Nick!), I began my internship the first week of July.
I have had so many opportunities to engage in various facets of the organization. The grant writing itself has been fascinating to learn about, and I discovered that I really enjoyed compiling the information to write the proposals as well as creating templates to organize the proposals. Having never taken any technical writing classes, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I was writing about something I believed in fully, and it was a kind of writing that didn’t leave my creativity drained.
Besides the grant writing itself, I have worked on event planning, organizational work, archiving, networking and forming connections with potential schools, and working directly with the kids in PLW’s Mindful Adventure Camp.
Being at the Mindful Adventure Camp was such a fun and heartwarming experience. We gathered at Glisten FIT in Winslow, NJ and spent the day doing yoga and mediation, hiking, and paddleboarding with around 20 kids.
Watching the kids effortlessly go into poses that took me months to master was so exciting, and really made me wish I had something like that as a kid. The emotional and physical awareness that comes with these practices is something that every kid would benefit from, especially now.
Working with the kids is, without a doubt, the most rewarding part of the job — seeing that you are actively making a difference in their lives. I’m hoping to get my yoga teaching certification in the spring so I can go into the schools and do even more with PLW, but even without that certification just yet, there is still so much that I’m able to do.
I think that is what attracts me to nonprofit work the most: the fact that everyone involved is fully dedicated to helping others. The people I have met at PLW have been some of the most genuine and caring people I have ever worked with. Ria and Nick always tell me how much they appreciate me and the work that I do, and receiving that validation and encouragement really makes a difference.
Perhaps what I am most grateful for since starting this position is the clarity and sense of purpose that I have gained. I have always struggled with plans for the future and knowing what I want to do post-Rowan until I began this internship.
PLW has allowed me to combine my loves of writing, yoga, and helping others, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization. I feel like for the first time in my life, I have a solid plan for the future that fills me with purpose and passion.
My advice to any students feeling confused about future plans or looking for an internship would be to step outside of your comfort zone and utilize the resources and connections around you. I would never have gotten this internship without just emailing PLW about the availability of an internship, even though the listing on ProfJobs was for the fall semester. It took a lot of emails and phone-tagging with different people at Rowan to know where to look for internships and jobs that would work best with my skills and where I’m at in my education.
The process leading up to finding this internship was very much outside of my comfort zone, and I really had to just dive in and dedicate myself to finding something fulfilling — and that has made all the difference.
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Skyla Everwine, senior English and writing arts major
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Tyler Allen-Williams, radio/TV/film major and photography minor