April 14th, 2018. University of Mary Washington Multicultural Fair.
It was a sunny, albeit hot, day and I was excited to attend my first Multicultural Fair (since my freshman year I had to miss because of a Quidditch Tournament). All the booths were so different and intriguing, I had to hold onto my wallet tightly. One booth caught my eye due to the free coffee available to sample. So naturally, despite the heat, I stopped to give in to my coffee fix.
I found myself speaking with a woman who was explaining the origins of the different coffees (Guatemala was the one that stuck in my head). While my friends chatted on their own, I continued talking with the woman, Carol. I found out she was the founder of e3 Kids International, a Fredericksburg non-profit working to equip, empower, and educate impoverished youth in Kenya and Guatemala. She mentioned they were looking for people to help out and I brought up my Communication and Digital Studies major. My friends were waiting on me and I only vaguely know what the opportunity before me was all about, so I gave Carol my contact info and continued on with my day, somehow spending only about twenty bucks.
Carol emailed me less than a week later and we set up an appointment for us to meet and talk about the potential internship. I was weary about taking on more to my course load and jumping into things, and this meeting was the absolute last thing I had to do before I was able to pack my car and drive home to Chesapeake. Speaking with Carol about how e3 is rebranding and in need of communications and design help, I thought that this was perfect for me and my major. Not only that, but hearing the passion behind her work and the real change she and her e3 team were making in the world struck a chord in me that I was not expecting.
I had the whole summer to determine if it was for me, but I found myself eager to get started. I filled out the proposal to request for college credit for the internship and contacted Professor Zach Whalen, whose classes I’ve regularly attended and very much enjoyed, to be my faculty sponsor. Everything seemed to line up perfectly, and it would only get better from there.