This past summer, I worked as an operations intern for Paint Love. This meant that I was both working behind the scenes with Julie to plan and prep for events and on the job at nearly 20 projects in the last two months. I also helped out with data-collection tasks and writing for this online blog.
Working at the studio, I saw firsthand how Julie and Laura run operations. As a high school student interested in a career in nonprofits, it was really valuable for me to get a taste of the necessary day-to-day tasks. I learned that every project requires a lot more preplanning than you might expect - it takes creativity and attention to detail to make sure that each event is a success. Coordinating with artists, volunteers, and other organizations means effective communication is vital. It also means that we get the privilege to work with a group of dedicated, compassionate, and inspiring change-makers.
The best part of my internship was, of course, the events. The projects I worked on not only spurred artistic thinking in the children we served, but also gave them an opportunity for self expression and a time to be reflective. The endless positivity and enthusiasm from the kids was incredibly encouraging and truly proved the purposefulness of the Paint Love mission. I loved making felt hearts and paper bag puppets with the pre-schoolers at Our House Decatur and Atlanta, painting collaborative murals with the New American Pathways summer campers, creating clay fish at Camp Peace, and so much more.
My summer with Paint Love was easily one of the most meaningful and fulfilling experiences of my life so far. I can’t wait to continue volunteering and I encourage anyone and everyone who can to get involved with the Paint Love community!