Darynha Gnep: A Summer College-Internship Perspective

"Originally from Cambodia, my family and I immigrated to the US over ten years ago. Having lived in Oregon for a couple of years, it was important for us to be surrounded by a vibrant Cambodian community, so we decided to move to Philadelphia, and have been here ever since.

"Because I was exposed to so many different lifestyles and viewpoints growing up, it was important that I continue this exploration, and exposure, with my post-secondary education plan, and for that reason - among many others - is why I chose to attend the University of Virginia. In a few short weeks, I will be returning back to Grounds, eager as ever to start my Second Year, and to officially declare my major in Youth & Social Innovations.

"As someone who wants to go into education, and start my own nonprofit later down the road, I wanted to spend my summer learning about the ins-and-outs of running a nonprofit. After learning that UAC needed summer, college interns, I researched on what the position would entail and the shared values of UAC, and knew that this would be the perfect place to start building a foundation for what I wanted to do in the future.

"During my month here, I spent a majority of my time putting together a matrix of the proposals that UAC received from the RFP that was sent out in regards to the Brand Refresh and 50th Anniversary Campaign. Just with this project alone, I was able to learn one of the biggest factors that ensures a nonprofit’s success is the image it creates and maintains in their community.

"Though the internal perception of those involve in the nonprofit is important - along with ensuring consistent message alignment - transparency and positive external reception is a big determining factor, because your work revolves around building a system of support (from the volunteers to the donors) to ensure the growth and livelihood of your organization."

Darynha is a sophmore at the University of Virginia, majoring in Youth & Social Innovations with a monor in African American Studies. For more information on internships at UAC, contact Brandon Johnson, Assistant Director of External Affairs, at bjohnson2@uac.org.