This summer, Edify launched our first-ever Summer Internship cohort. Three talented students from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill joined our Marketing and Communications Team for an 8-week internship. They worked on projects like marketing strategies, social media content, website design, and content writing. Not only did they get an in-depth look into the day-to-day work of a nonprofit organization, but their skills were used and grown. Yet for Edify, it’s important that our work goes beyond projects and tasks. An essential part of the internship included spiritual formation. They met with Edify staff, both stateside and in the field, to do book studies and learn about Edify’s Core Values. It was incredible to have vibrant and gifted students with us to further our mission and vision.
Hear from one intern, Betsy, and her reflection on her internship experience.
With my senior year at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looming around the corner, questions filled my mind about what the best way to spend my last summer would include. A friend mentioned Edify’s Summer Internship Program to me, and I applied on a whim, forgetting about it as midterms and papers piled up. I was offered an interview and accepted, thinking, if nothing else, it would give me more interview experience. I logged off the Zoom interview with a massive smile on my face. The zeal of the team was contagious and something I was not expecting. After a week of prayer, I accepted an offer for the Marketing and Communications Internship for Summer 2021.
As soon as I got off the plane in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, for Edify’s annual Global Conference and my internship orientation, I could tell there was something different about Edify. The Lord is working so evidently through them, bringing people from across the globe to work to improve Christ-centered education. Focusing on partnerships that are specifically centered on Christ and a biblical worldview was something I didn’t even know existed. The team environment was so loving–the other interns and I were quickly given nicknames, taken for horseback rides, and thanked repeatedly for spending our first week of the internship with the team. The staff was joyful, thankful, and had so much fun together.
The team environment was also unlike anywhere I had ever worked before. My supervisors received my wide-eyed enthusiasm and dozens of questions with kindness and gentleness. The Edification and Philanthropy and Marketing and Communications Teams quickly brought the other interns and me into meetings, asking for our input and “fresh eyes” to help the organization improve. “Best idea wins,” the Directors kept saying–showing they valued all ideas whether they came from Tiger, Edify’s CEO, or an intern, like me. Each person exuded humility and care–exemplifying one of Edify’s Core Values of Christ-Like Service before I even knew this was something they treasured.
After returning to Chapel Hill after the Conference, we began our typical week. Our Monday mornings started with a global prayer call of 92 employees in 13 countries. Even during the once-a-year Global Conference I attended, Edify embodied a commitment to prayer–despite the packed agenda these types of meetings have. It is no wonder that what happens at Edify seems almost too good to be true–the Holy Spirit is so powerfully moving through each country and each school Edify works with.
As the summer continued, I began working on my internship-specific projects. I helped with Google Analytics and Ads campaigns, website redesign, and collecting stories for Edify’s blog. I loved learning new skills and further developing existing ones, all while collaborating with my fellow interns and the full-time Marketing Team members. One of the things I appreciated most about my coworkers were their consistent commitments to excellence and integrity in all of their work. Across the board, they strive to do their work well, even if it seemed like a menial task. If I asked for feedback on a blog post, I received it promptly and with detail. Consistently during meetings, Directors expressed desires to stay committed to their Core Values and mission. It was evident that their motivation to work diligently came from Christ.
One of our weekly meetings was a spiritual formation call on Wednesdays. During these meetings, an Edify staff member would present to the other interns and I about one of the seven Core Values. We heard from Country Directors like Godfrey Lugoloobi in Uganda and Makonen Getu, who oversees the Christian Transformation program. This gave us a better understanding of the global heart of Edify, and how it grew from two people with a vision from the Lord to the 11-country operation it is today.
I admired how Edify invested deeply in the local economies of each of the countries they partnered with. Edify focuses on entrepreneurs that are seeking to improve education in their communities. They come alongside proprietors and offer loans, education technology, and training to meet the need for quality education. I hadn’t heard of organizations that did this before. It was empowering to hear of individuals rising up to meet the needs of children in their communities, and to learn that organizations like Edify are involved in what is already being done around the world.
I saw the Lord work mightily through me as well. God transformed my heart to understand a biblical worldview of justice and know His heart for meeting and restoring all the needs of His people. Deuteronomy 10:17-18 explains, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (ESV). God cared for us so much He sent Jesus to pay our sin penalty for us and then saved us into a relationship with Himself–and He continues to take care of our needs by executing justice for the fatherless and loving the sojourner. I have learned so much of what it means to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God in response to what He has already done for us (Micah 6:8, ESV). My prayer is that the Lord would continue to teach me more about this as I walk with Him through my senior year of college–and that He would do the same for you, too.
Interested in our next Internship Cohort? Keep an eye on our Jobs & Internships page to be the first to know when applications open.