Scholarship recipient thanks Foundation for “one of the highlights of my academic career”
The Casey Feldman Foundation has a program that pays stipends to computer science students to work for non-profits. The computer science student receives valuable experience and the non-profit gets necessary IT help that it might not otherwise be able to afford. The following letter is from one of our scholarship recipients who talks about how her experience this spring aided both I Have a Dream Foundation and herself.
Dear Ms. Dianne Anderson and Mr. Joel Feldman,
I would like to thank you and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation for funding my internship at the I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County (IHAD)*. This experience was one of the highlights of my academic career at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Without the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, I could have missed out on a opportunity that has allowed me to grow as an individual, give back to the community, and further develop my computer science skills.
I always find great pleasure in any kind of volunteer work, when the opportunity to volunteer arises. Whether it’s volunteering for senior living centers or the kitchens of homeless shelters, the experience grounds me, and I’m thankful for the opportunities and resources that I have been given.
I first heard about the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation through an email that was sent out by the computer science-jobs committee. As I read about the opportunity, to help non-profits with my computer science skills, I realized that I could help the organizations further their missions and help them grow. In today’s society, technology is a crucial part of businesses and organizations. It helps them to advance and to reach out to new people. I could accomplish all of these things by helping the organizations on any computer science related projects. In a way, I would be giving back to the organizations, which provide continuous opportunities for people to volunteer in their local communities.
The primary work that I did, while I interned at I Have A Dream Foundation (IHAD) of Boulder County, was working with Salesforce, a cloud-computing database. The primary issue that IHAD had with the database was that some of the staff, program directors, and the AmeriCorps, who had little or no experience with Salesforce, were not certain on how to use the database and more importantly how to use it correctly.
The first week of my internship, I learned about Salesforce and how IHAD uses the database, as their Salesforce database account was custom tailored for the organization’s structure. One of the previous Salesforce interns created a manual that was hosted on Google sites, so I followed the manual and continued to explore the database’s capabilities.
After my first week, Ms. Williamson, who oversaw my internship, asked me to interview certain people that frequently use the Salesforce database, and try to pinpoint any major issues about the database that could be fixed. When I completed the interviews, the common theme, for all interviews, was that people wished there was some sort of reference tool that they could refer to if they weren’t sure how to enter something into the database. They didn’t know that there was a Salesforce manual.
The manual was created on a platform that can’t easily be accessed, and it can only be accessed if one is on their Gmail account and they have the access link. My solution to this problem was to recreate the manual on a more accessible platform, WordPress. For the remaining portion of my internship, I worked on the manual.
In this internship, I learned how to use Salesforce and further developed my problem solving skills. I was given a problem and through the interviews and the creation of the manual, I came up with a viable solution. The fact that I worked with one of the newest and in demand technology has given me more chances at future internships and jobs.
Once again, I give thanks to you and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. I couldn’t have asked for a more meaningful opportunity. Not only did I gain invaluable skills through the internship, but I also helped an outstanding organization that truly has an amazing purpose. When time permits, I look forward to going back to IHAD as a volunteeer to continue to help this wonderful non-profit.
* IHAD is dedicated to helping low-income youths achieve a brighter future through a long-term, comprehensive educational and cultural enrichment program. The IHAD Foundation “adopts” groups of 50 low-income students, “Dreamers” in third grade who are deemed to be at high risk of dropping out of school. They hire a project coordinator and establish a learning center exclusively for that group and provide the Dreamers a year-round program of tutoring, mentoring, after-school enrichment, computer technology training, life and social skills, and college and career preparation until they finish high school. The Dreamers ultimately receive a four-year tuition-assistance scholarship for college or vocational school.
Read about how our previous scholarship recipients have assisted IHAD:
Donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that we may continue our good work in aiding non-profits, providing scholarship recipients with practical work experience and the gratification of service for the greater good.