This summer Philadelphia Youth Basketball held its second summer Corporate Internship Program. Seven corporate interns from various colleges and universities joined us for a summer of challenging work where they grew as young professionals and hopefully had some fun along the way!  

From their first day on June 5th, the interns have been immersed in PYB’s mission lead day-to-day operations. While each intern was focused on a different component of the organization, such as social media, special events, or donor outreach, each also got involved and assisted with secondary projects that aligned with their interests. In addition to their hard work on the corporate side of PYB’s organization workplan, the interns were tasked with creatively decorating our brand new office space in the concourse of the BNY Mellon Center!

The interns were mentored by PYB’s Community Mobilization Coordinator, MaryKate O’Brien, and Manager of Fund Development and Operations, Diana Venezia, who both immediately felt the impact of the new staff members. “Only a couple days into working we had two superstar interns develop a great financial literacy program, which shows their strong skill set and understanding of our mission right off the bat,” says O’Brien. Working at PYB can be an around the clock job, and the interns were able to handle the tasks seamlessly. O’Brien speaks to this when she says “I was most impressed with everyone’s tenacious work ethic. We can get emails at 10pm and 4am. No one ever complains and the work always gets done without any intervention from me or Diana.”

Both PYB and the interns gained a lot from the summer internship program, which is only in its second year. The goal, O’Brien says, is to keep the interns busy with work they enjoy and work that is valuable to the organization. “It helps PYB grow while simultaneously helping the interns grow. I’ve had internship experiences when I have very little work and found it difficult to stay motivated and productive.” PYB is very conscious of embracing a distributive leadership model, which is one in which each person can be a leader of their own assignments. That way everyone feels like a critical part of something much bigger than themselves. Community Mobilization Intern, Charlie Dolgenos, attests to that model as he says “I like the long-term projects we get to lead by ourselves. It has taught me different methods of communication and to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve especially learned better time management skills because of these projects.” Program Development Intern, Gregory Louis, also enjoyed the distributive leadership style at PYB: “I was given an opportunity to do work that I was really interested in such as meeting and interviewing professional basketball players and coaches and faith leaders, two areas that I am passionate about.”

O’Brien can see the positive effect the interns’ work has had on PYB. She lists just a few of the many ways the interns have helped elevate  PYB’s game. “Our social media is on point thanks to David and Harris, and our annual report is making great progress because of James. Our Summer Camp BBQ at the Baumstein’s and our Jerseys in Jersey Party would not have been such a success without Max. Kyle has almost single-handedly tackled the registration and scholarship application process and had to deal with a 50% increase in camp enrollment from last year, which is no easy task. Abby has been great with developing our HoopHers (formerly Girls Empowerment) proposal, while Greg and Charlie have been great vocal leaders in the faith community and public outreach areas.”

The interns have accomplished the goal of growing themselves, as well. When asked what he has learned from the program, Louis says, “I can see that in order to build a well-functioning community organization, every element – public sector, private sector, and families – must be fully involved.” Throughout the summer, PYB interns have been fully engaged and have really made a difference for the entire PYB community.

Written by Harris Edelman, Corporate Intern

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