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What Is the True Definition of Being a United Way Intern?

July 24, 2014

By Kiona Walker

Kiona Walker, a Youth Employment intern with the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center.
Kiona Walker, a Youth Employment intern with the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center.

There are two principles that I believe every striving young person should live by:

  1. Always strive to make an impact
  2. Try to reach

Every day you must try to be your best at what you do. In this generation, you rarely see these principles come to life through the youth.

I was privileged to be assigned to work at the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center for my six week internship. I do admit it was a different atmosphere from my last year’s employment but I think it turned out for the greater.

My first week was just the last rain drop before the rainbow appeared with the pot of gold at the other side. It was a lot to cover bases with the welcoming staff and learning names. At the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, it is more of a family-oriented environment. As weeks passed by, I realized the great opportunity I had to work on the silent auction list for the gathering of community supporters for FinFest. Each day I updated information by calling and confirming the point of contacts and addresses. Also, I was so excited to know that I actually had a key role in training the new silent auction coordinator for the upcoming event. Working here at the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center has opened my eyes on how this world goes around. I have had a great time exploring different assignments around the office, from superbills to helping with rebilling the Veterans Affairs office.

As a rising senior at Robert E. Lee High School, I was taught that you can never know how fast you can run until you get up and try. Just remember to Intentionally Make Powerful Augmenting Contributions Today (IMPACT) and Respect Everyone and Conquer Hate (REACH). In other words, be yourself, make an impact on your community, and reach for the stars up above.


Kiona is one of more than 100 interns participating in this year’s Youth Employment Program, which matches high school students with local businesses and organizations for summer internships.