I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself, “Hmm who is the person behind these amazing social media posts on my feed and that fantastic newsletter I get in my email every Friday?” Well wonder no more! It’s me!

Hi! I’m Jada. I am Freedom School Partners’ Marketing and Communications Intern this summer. Currently, I am getting my Masters degree from UNC Charlotte. I heard of Freedom School Partners from a coworker at my previous job, Heart Math Tutoring, another nonprofit in the Charlotte area that enhances the learning experience for children. My coworker saw that I was getting my degree in Communication Studies and thought this position would be a great fit for me. I looked into this organization and fell in love. I knew I had to be a part of Freedom School this summer, so I applied and here I am.

My first time coming to Freedom School was one of the most welcoming experiences I have had in a workplace. I came into my first Harambee, a high-energy celebration of reading with songs, chants, and guest readers, with excitement and high expectations. Can I just say that they were EXCEEDED! The energy that the daily motivational pep rally gave me made me super excited to start working this summer. This only grew as the training for my position started. I was thrown into tasks with the guiding hand of my supervisor Annalise, the Marketing and Communications Manager, which was great for me because I learn best by doing. Being able to be in the field and capturing the moments leading up to Freedom School has been amazing for me. Learning the language of Freedom School has been a bit of a struggle but I know I’ll grasp the concept as the summer continues.

I have had the honor of seeing the behind the scenes work that goes into making a non-profit operate which is great for me because this is exactly the experience that I wanted. One day I’d like to start my own non-profit like Freedom School, so being a part of something that helps grow the minds of children brings me joy. More importantly, being able to show our donors, families, and community the amazing work we are doing through social media and newsletters is a big part of my job that I love. I didn’t understand how significant telling a story was until I came to Freedom School a short time ago. Each narrative from a community, whether it be a person, or an organization is what connects everyone. It brings everyone together. Being able to be a part of the bridge that brings stories to the community makes me appreciate non-profit work even more.

I have a love of photography and through this role I have been able to get back into taking pictures. Bringing my camera out of retirement has been a great feeling. I have learned how to use my camera in different settings while trying to get the best camera angles of Harambee readers and during Cheer and Chants. Through this role, I have been able to do some of my favorite things; from capturing candid moments to just talking to people. Through opportunities to interview our Servant Leader Interns about their experience has given me a new outlook on what Freedom School summer is all about. This has lead to an understanding of components learned in training to give our scholars the best opportunities possible.

I am both excited and a little anxious for the coming weeks. I have taken in a lot so far and when the scholars finally arrive it will be time to go into full action mode. I know I will make a few mistakes, but I hope they are few and far between. Regardless, I am thrilled to meet the scholars and hear their stories. All of us at Freedom School do the work we do for our scholars. Seeing their joy this summer will make all the work worthwhile. I hope you follow me through my internship journey.

– Jada

Marketing and Communications Intern, Jada Flowers