This summer is truly turning out to be a spectacular one. Yes, we have Camp Hollywood HEART coming up in a mere 3 weeks (eek!) we have moved offices, but the real cherry on the top of this delicious cake, is gaining Intern Extraordinaire: Natalie Aguilar.
This month’s blog was going to be a look into the world of what it is to be an intern at Hollywood HEART, but after our interview with Ms Natalie Aguilar we realized this entry was going to turn out to be a whole lot more. Prepare to be inspired, in awe, and reflective on what YOU were doing at only 19 years old.
For 10 weeks Hollywood HEART has the pleasure of Natalie coming into the fold and beginning an internship with us. Currently studying at Syracuse University in New York, Natalie, a Los Angeles native, first heard about our internship through a friend, “a friend at East LA College directed me towards the Los Angeles County Arts Commission website and the position at Hollywood HEART stood out to me.” As a double major in Speech Pathology/Audiology and Spanish, Natalie wanted to find an internship which centered specifically in the arts.
Coming back home for the summer can mean a lot of things for people, being with friends, partying, relaxing…Natalie began her 10 weeks by helping to move offices and learning how a non-profit manages donations and funds a summer camp.
“My first task was to reach out to companies and ask for gift card donations for camp, our goal was to get $300 worth, but that didn’t work out at first. Some big companies are a lot harder to reach than you would think!”
As a self proclaimed introvert and a young woman who just entered the unknown of the nonprofit world, do you think Natalie was disheartened? Gave up because she felt discouraged? Here is where Natalie’s foresight, tenacity and intellect shine bright. “I began looking for In-Kind donations (this is when you approach a company for products as donations as opposed to money) I found once again that bigger companies that sold the products were hard to reach, so I went directly to the manufacturer.”
From a goal of $300 in gift cards, Natalie facilitated Camp Hollywood HEART receiving over $20,000 of In Kind donations. Natalie humbly acknowledged her achievement as “turning out quite well.” Speaking with Natalie you are listening to an emerging leader, a woman that sets goals and over achieves every single one.
Natalie references her parents a great deal, “We are extremely close, they are hard workers, fighters and a great influence in my life.”
Mr and Mrs Aguilar emigrated from El Salvador and have motivated Natalie not only in her present life but her future goals. “My aim for the future is to open a non profit speech pathology clinic for undocumented and low income families” Working with Hollywood HEART this summer is giving Natalie a great insight into the world of nonprofit. “I have learnt so much, I am so grateful to this organization for what it has taught me and everyone here, I am enjoying it so much and cannot wait for camp!”
At Camp Hollywood HEART this year Natalie will not only be in the trenches helping wherever needed, she will be able to see her contribution manifest. “I’m excited to actually see the campers using some of the In Kind donations such as the spray paint we have received from Montana Colors for Off The Wall Graffiti to use in their art sessions. My confidence has grown so much during this process, I’m so lucky to have got this internship.”
Natalie is a woman to watch. To have made such a massive impact on an organization at the tender age of 19 as well as it being her first time stepping into the nonprofit realm, Hollywood HEART are the lucky ones. We couldn’t have asked for more from this remarkable young woman and thank her immensely for gracing our halls with her insurmountable talents. As Natalie continues her studies and her journey into giving back and helping people through her expertise, she serves as an inspiration to all ages from 19-99.
**We wanted to give a MASSIVE thank you and shout out to www.Wrist-Band.com Wrist-Band are one of this year’s very generous In-Kind donors and their company supplies the best in custom silicone bracelets, which are now being used by our very grateful campers! THANK YOU Wrist-Band, you ROCK!**
This internship is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 132 undergraduate interns will participate in the program this year at more than 100 performing, presenting, and literary nonprofit arts organizations and municipal arts agencies throughout LA County. In addition to their full-time 10 week paid internship, interns will participate in educational events as part of the program which is funded by the Getty Foundation. The educational events are designed to provide interns with a broader perspective of the vibrant arts and cultural landscape of the County. For additional information on the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Arts Internship Program, and for a complete list of all the internships offered this summer, visit the Arts Commission website at www.lacountyarts.org.