Seeking Non-Profit Opportunities with Y.O.U.

Name: Marisa DiPaolo

Year: Senior

Majors: Gender & Sexuality Studies

Minors: Global Health, Spanish

CFS Program: Field Studies in Social Studies

Employer: Youth and Opportunity United

My internship at Youth and Opportunity United has afforded me countless opportunities to develop my skillset and prepared me a great deal for my job search today, as a graduating senior. Being an intern, especially only being in the office 10 hours a week, can make it difficult to make connections, get to know people, and feel like you’re making meaningful contributions to the organization. But this experience has taught me to seek out opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to me. Asking to be invited to a meeting you’re interested in, making conversation in the office kitchen, and finding out where your help is most needed, are all skills I’ve expanded greatly as an intern. My work with Y.O.U. has often required me to run presentations or workshops with both large and small groups of students, and the confidence I have developed as a public speaker has made it easier for me to step up and speak up when it comes to seeking meaningful work in my position.

But most importantly, the direct-service experience I have gained working at Y.O.U. is something I’m finding to be incredibly beneficial as I seek out entry level positions in health education non-profit work. Making contributions to the Evanston community outside of Northwestern is something I have sought often as an undergraduate, and doing so in a professional capacity that goes beyond volunteering or working with a student group has provided me with a great deal of new knowledge about what it’s actually like to work in direct-service non-profit work. Getting to know students in Y.O.U. program has been such a rewarding experience, and having the agency to see what students need, and actually make a difference in offering them the knowledge, resources, and support they are in need of is something I never knew I’d be able to do as an undergraduate. My work at Y.O.U. has left me incredibly excited to continue pursuing a public health career in the non profit sector, and being able to afford to have this experience at an unpaid internship while still getting class credit was all made possible by CFS!