Taylor Kealoha: Finding Greater Purpose in my Position
My first several weeks spent with the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (“SVCN”) has been equal parts work and play. While a good portion of my time has been dedicated to the organization’s Marketing and Communications operations, I have also had ample opportunity to get to know my team and explore my other interests in this position. Despite the restrictions emplaced by Covid, my supervisor and the rest of the SVCN team organized a virtual welcome lunch for me and provided me with a pumpkin to paint for their annual Be Our Guest charity event. My supervisor even offered me the chance to engage in some friendly competition with the rest of the SVCN team by having us play random Kahoot quizzes over Zoom. These activities, while unconventional for most interns, has been a welcome change for me and has allowed me to feel accepted, supported, and fulfilled by the SVCN team thus far. My work done for SVCN has also been nothing short of enlightening.
While my internship differs from the other Community Fellow positions in the sense that it is more organizational management behind the scenes and does not entail direct interaction with the public, directly involve members of the public, I have still managed to gain a pretty good understanding of the problems that involve the greater community. For instance, I publish all the community events put on by Silicon Valley’s nonprofit organizations and list these same organizations’ open job positions on the SVCN website through my position. So, I have been able to recognize through my interactions with other nonprofit organizations like Maitri and the Young Women Christian Association “YWCA” that there is greater need for external support for the women and single-parent households of Silicon Valley. I have also come to realize through my interactions with nonprofit organizations like Asian Americans for Community Involvement “AACI” and Peninsula Family Service that there are not enough mental health resources readily available for the public. These conclusions, although easy for some to understand, would have been impossible for me to grasp if not for the time spent in my position at SVCN.
Going forward, I would like to use my place of privilege as a student and employee of Santa Clara University to uplift SVCN’s efforts at promoting Silicon Valley’s nonprofit organizations. By creating graphics for SVCN and expanding on their current online presence, I hope to garner more attention from the public and inspire other likeminded people to volunteer themselves to SVCN and the other nonprofit organizations in the area. I also hope that by working together with my supervisor and the rest of the SVCN team, I can learn what it means to be an effective leader and implement new practices in my life that are in favor of a greater community.