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Hello! My name is Karla Carmona, and I am a double major in strategic and corporate communication and data science, graduating in May 2024. Starting  this past interterm and continuing to the spring semester, I intern at a local nonprofit organization, Growth Opportunities through Athletics, Learning, and Service (GOALS). I have served as an assistant coach at the ABC Community Clubhouse program within GOALS, located in a residential community in  Anaheim. GOALS serves children in the 1st to 12th grade range, though attendees can be from 6 to 18 years old. It is a nonprofit organization serving Orange County youth, targeting underserved communities by facilitating enrichment programs in learning, service, and athletics.

I obtained this internship through Handshake, and by catering my resume to highlight my leadership experience and service roles, I was matched to the organization and my specific site. Throughout my internship, I’ve embraced diverse roles aimed to facilitate the program’s daily operations and advance the organization’s mission. These responsibilities encompass everything from homework assistance to coaching sports and leading arts and crafts activities. A significant project I undertook mid-semester was designing and executing an entire day of programming based on my chosen curriculum. This experience allowed me to take ownership of a project from start to finish and also honed my communication skills.

My curriculum taught students about the history of St. Patrick’s Day

Besides running the ABC Clubhouse program, other opportunities I was a part of throughout the semester included aiding in a large clothing drive event for the community and taking program participants on field trips around the city of Anaheim. With it being my first time working within a non-profit organization, the projects at GOALS exposed me to the range of work in this space.

Engaging with the youth served by GOALS has been incredibly rewarding. Building relationships with these students and participating in activities to enrich their learning has been a highlight of my internship. Witnessing firsthand the positive impact we’re making on our community’s future leaders is heartening.

On the bus for a field trip on my last day at GOALS!

My internship at GOALS has provided me with invaluable opportunities to apply the communication skills I’ve cultivated throughout my academic coursework. From crafting clear instructions for activities to effectively communicating with youth participants and fellow staff members, every interaction has been a chance to refine and reinforce my skills in these areas.

As I look ahead, I’m excited to continue leveraging the skills and experiences gained from my internship to make a meaningful contribution to my community and beyond. My time at GOALS has enriched my academic and professional journey and reaffirmed my commitment to using communication as a tool for positive change.