Meet the Interns #Internductions

Humanitarian Social Innovations is pleased to host three excellent interns this summer. All are determined to make the most of their summer by gaining knowledge to help them in the working world and by making an impact in the world through their work here.

One of our new Interns this summer Jonathan Fiore

Jonathan Fiore- PR/Professional Writing Intern

Jonathan Fiore attends Moravian College where he is majoring in English and minoring in History. On campus, he is a reporter for the school’s student-run newspaper and an editor for the student publication, The Manuscript. He plans to use those skills this summer as our PR/Professional Writing Intern, writing content for our social media pages and our blog.

HSI:  “Why are you an HSI Intern?”

Jonathan:  “The reason that I am an HSI intern is not only for the experience that I am grateful to get, but also HSI’s purpose was what really drew me in. HSI wants to make it possible for non-profits and humanitarian groups to get a leg up in the world and provide them with support for their mission. I  too want to help these organizations achieve their dreams. My position here will help their message spread across the web for all to see.”

Jonathan is an avid reader, both print and online, who one day wants to publish his own stories and content for the world to see.

His life motto is that not everything is black and white; the gray area exists.  Don’t be afraid to steer off the path of normalcy and into the unknown.

One of our new interns this summer Kristen Rader

Kristin Rader- Marketing Management Intern

Kristin Rader attends Moravian College where she is double majoring in Marketing Management and Graphic & Interactive Design. Kristin is interning with HSI as a Marketing Management intern. She plans to use her experiences here as a guiding force in her management classes and in her future career. On campus, Kristin is hard at work in her PR position with the Moravian College Dance Company. She also works at at Studio South, an on-campus student-run graphic design firm at Moravian College, where she is not only a student designer, but also the Social Media Chairperson. Kristin’s graphic design work can be found on her local church website and in many places within the church environment

HSI:  “Why are you an HSI Intern?”

Kristin:  “I think their mission is very important and inspiring and I am looking forward to being a part of it. It is amazing to know that they work with so many organizations and charities in order to expand their overall outreach inside and outside of the community to help those in need.”

Kristin is an avid animal lover and enjoys the beauty of nature. She has been drawing and painting since she was a small child, which led her to pursue graphic design.  She also has a love for outdoor activities like fishing, paddle boarding, and jet skiing.

One of our new Interns this summer Rose Roberts

Rose Roberts- PR/Marketing Intern

Rose Roberts attends Moravian College where she is majoring in Political Science and minoring in both Management and Mass Media. Rose is very active on campus where  she volunteered with the Miller-Keystone Blood Center and also with the Special Olympics, Girls on the Run, and the S. June Smith Center through her sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha. Rose also helped establish an event called “Greeks for Greyhounds” in which members of Greek Life helped make almost 5,000 dog toys for Peaceable Kingdom and other animal shelters in the Lehigh Valley.

HSI:  “Why are you an HSI Intern?”

Rose:  “Leadership in service is the driving force behind what connects me to my college and my community. I love that HSI focuses on the empowerment and promotion of a variety of nonprofits. Anyone with a will to improve their community can now have the resources to make those dreams a reality. To gain experience in promoting these amazing non-profits is not only relevant experience to what I want to do in my career, but I am humbled and grateful to better understand the work being done locally, nationally, and globally to create a better world.”

Rose feels extremely grateful and honored to be able to work with Humanitarian Social Innovations in their mission to empower and promote a variety of nonprofits. She wants to give back to the community that helped shaped her into the person that she is today. She believes that HSI will allow her to do just that.

We look forward to providing a wonderful experience for our interns. We can’t wait to see what they create for Humanitarian Social Innovations.

To our Interns,

Welcome to HSI!


New Program: Overcoming Odds

“I AM ON A MISSION TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE ADOPTION PROCESS”

-Oleg Lougheed, founder and Executive Director

We are pleased to introduce Overcoming Odds, a new organization that has joined the Humanitarian Social Innovations family this week!

Overcoming Odds is a nonprofit organization that is creating a software program and website that will help ease the integration of adopted children into their new families. The program will combine educational resources with a social media platform to help connect families around the world to a support system. Another goal of Overcoming Odds is to raise awareness for issues within the adoption system by providing a space for adoptees to share their stories.

“Children who are adopted have no choice but to change,” Oleg wrote. One of his concerns is that the cultural shift internationally adopted children experience often leads to disconnection with their identities as adults, sometimes resulting in mental illness and substance abuse problems. Mr. Lougheed hopes to limit the effects of the disconnection by creating this software platform, which will feature cultural and language learning resources to bridge the cultural gap between adoptive parents and their new children, creating healthier and more stable families for life.

Oleg Lougheed is a young Russian man whose life journey led him through the streets, an orphanage, and an international adoption. You can hear him tell his compelling story in this video.

Please also consider a donation to Overcoming Odds to assist in the development of this important work.

 


Meet Our Interns!

Humanitarian Social Innovations is fortunate to be located near quality universities teeming with ambitious and intelligent young adults. Our program allows local interns to test their skills in a company position while contributing their talent and energy to an organization that returns social and financial value to its community of programs as well as the people served by those programs.

Our spring interns have been tearing it up creating content and public relations opportunities. We would love for you to take a moment to meet them!

One of our interns from Kutztown University, Grace Davies.Grace Davies: Content Writer

Grace is in her final semester of the Professional Writing program at Kutztown University. She discovered her penchant for content writing during an internship with Kutztown Community Partnership, where she authored a community blog. You have probably enjoyed reading Grace’s contributions on our blog as well. She has authored many pieces for current and future publication there. Grace is also a passionate editor, a skill that is in constant use throughout our organization. After she graduates, Grace plans to travel and work on her poetry before settling down with a career. She uses her limited spare time to watch plants grow and pet her cat.

Jane Spadaccini: Public Relations and Social MediaOne of our interns from Moravian College, Jane Spadaccini

Jane is a Music Performance major and English minor at Moravian College. At Humanitarian Social Innovations, she is in charge of our social media accounts and public relations. These duties have her writing press releases and finding places or events where we can meet people who should know about us!  Thanks to Jane, you will find our snazzy table at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game on May 10! She is also a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority that works with numerous charities such as March of Dimes and MADD. Her hobbies include cooking and reading. Jane’s ideal career would be as a performer in the music field, but she is also interested in PR work and law.

Intern with HSI!

Interested in an internship opportunity with Humanitarian Social Innovations? Shoot us your resume today at office@humanitariansocialinnovations.com!

 


New Program: Great Girls Scholarship

Potential GTDF Scholarship winner sewing at fashion camp

GTDF hosts fashion camps where girls can learn design skills

Humanitarian Social Innovations is proud to introduce a new sponsored project; the Great Girls Scholarship. The scholarship is designed by The Great Taste Design Foundation “to help remove barriers and stumbling blocks for women and girls on their road to success and strengthening our communities.”

The Great Taste Design Foundation (GTDF) is part of the Great Taste Design Company, the brainchild of the multi-talented Mrs. De’Yanna Yancey-Harris. As an independent designer in the field, Mrs. Yancey-Harris felt the fashion industry was brimming with negative messages directed at young women. In 2007 she founded Great Taste Design Company to counteract that negativity through programs that teach young women important life skills such as leadership and self-advocacy.

The Great Taste Design Foundation awards the Great Girl Scholarship to talented girls between 7th and 12th grade in the state of Delaware. In order to win the award, the nominee must show outstanding performance in one of six areas: the arts, athletics, philanthropy, academics, leadership, or entrepreneurship. The award money can be used either for higher education and training or to further the girl’s entrepreneurial goals. Through this scholarship, Mrs. Yancey-Harris hopes to help young ladies “grow closer to their goals as well as be celebrated for their achievements.”

We can’t wait to see how the Great Girls help improve their communities, and are thrilled to be a piece of the puzzle.

Support the Great Girls Scholarship by donating today!                     Donate to Empower a Great Girl

You can learn more about the Great Girl Scholarship by visiting the Great Taste Design Foundation’s profile page.


Writing Wrongs: Elizabeth Ortiz’s Story

Photo f Kristen Cervenak

Kristen Cervenak

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Addiction: Stories of Hope”, contains interviews with residents at Easy Does It (EDI), an addiction recovery facility in Leesport, PA. The following is the summary of a piece that was originally produced for the magazine by Kristen Cervenak of Northampton Community College.

Cervenak interviewed Elizabeth Ortiz, who became an addict at the age of nine. She started with snorting cocaine to escape from the abuse she faced from her stepfather. Her drug problem snowballed from there, and by the time she turned 15 she was an IV heroin user. Ortiz was a functional addict for most of her life, but her struggles increased after she had put her children through school. This indomitable woman was able to commit to wellness after facing numerous pitfalls. At Easy Does It, she has finally found a healthier way to relieve her pain.

Click here to read more about how Ortiz overcame her lifelong struggle.

If you like what you read, use this link to support Writing Wrongs and HSI by purchasing a copy of the book.

Are you interested in joining the Writing Wrongs staff in 2017 to explore the topic of immigration? Writing Wrongs is looking for students from a variety of fields to participate in the project. Applications are open now and can be found here. The deadline to apply is May 1st.

Banner Photo: Portrait of Elizabeth Ortiz by Katelyn Bennett


Writing Wrongs: Tyler Kline’s Story

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Addiction: Stories of Hope”, contains interviews with residents at Easy Does It (EDI), an addiction recovery facility in Leesport, PA. The following is the summary of a piece that was originally produced for the magazine by Chloe Schultz of La Salle University

At 19 years old, Tyler Kline is one of the youngest residents at EDI. His struggle with drugs began when he was 15, and persisted through a year of homelessness and one other treatment program. He arrived at EDI just two weeks before the interview after being asked to move out of his girlfriend’s house because of his drug habits. Tyler realized he needs to make a real change, and is now learning to care for himself and his environment.

Read more about Tyler’s transformation here.

You can also purchase the entire book here.

Are you interested in joining the Writing Wrongs staff in 2017 to explore the topic of immigration? Writing Wrongs is looking for students from a variety of fields to participate in the project. Applications are open now and can be found here.

Banner Photo: Portrait of Tyler Kline by Katelyn Bennett


Program Focus: Bringing Up a Bookworm

Bringing Up a Bookworm, which provides children with foundational reading skills by encouraging parents to read aloud to them from the day they are born, is an inspiring example of what an organization can achieve through fiscal sponsorship. Bringing Up a Bookworm has been with HSI for a year now and has been working hard to expand their outreach since they first launched.

Marsha Townsend, the organization’s founder, is a fourth grade teacher in the Schuylkill Valley School District. During her free time in the summer she worked diligently to bring more books to the youth of Berks County.

“I’ve mostly been working on sending out letters to various doctors’ offices in the Berks County area. Hopefully by the end of the month I will have reached all offices,” said Marsha.

As of now, Bringing Up a Bookworm is in five doctors’ offices around Berks County. Each office receives 15-25 copies of Mem Fox’s book, “Reading Magic”, for their young patients’ parents along with a postcards that explain Bookworm’s mission and vision.

“Each office has reordered, and we expect them to reorder again at the end of the month! The response from the offices has been great. They always say they love the bags, and their patients are really excited about the books—they’re appreciative.”

When we asked Marsha if she had any advice for new nonprofits, she had this to say:

“Get some money under [your] belt. Have some type of financial footing, a base, to get started with. I didn’t have any of that, so when I started I had to get businesses interested first then order my supplies. Now I have to keep it going. I’ve started. I have to finish.”

As for the future, Marsha would love to get to the point where she is able to supply gift bags to all the doctors’ offices in Berks County. In a few years, she’d like to stretch into other counties and eventually go national.

Marsha is looking for more personal feedback from the parents that receive her gift bags. Each bag of books includes a postcard with Marsha’s contact information. If you or a member of your family receives a gift bag, please don’t hesitate to contact her so she can improve her outreach.


New Program: Health Care Development Association

HSI is proud to welcome the Healthcare Development Association (HCDA) to our ranks. HCDA is an organization dedicated to bringing health care clinics to the people of southern Haiti, where medical care is nigh impossible to access. Co-founder Kathleen Janvier began her career providing healthcare in the area of Le Rois 2011, and seeing the incredible health care deficit in the area inspired her and her fellow co-founder, Carlet Auguste, to begin funding clinics.

The need for accessible healthcare has escalated since Hurricane Matthew ravaged the coast of southern Haiti in the fall of 2016. The region is seeing outbreaks of cholera and malaria, and infection is certain to spread out of control if the people cannot get access to medical treatment. To remedy the situation, Janvier and Auguste would like to raise money to bring medical treatment and preventative health education to citizens of the Nippes region (where Le Rois is located). Janvier and Auguste plan to fundraise in areas of the United States with large Haitian populations in hopes that the struggles of their homeland will inspire people to give, as the HCDA founders themselves have been inspired.

We at Humanitarian Social Innovations look forward to assisting HCDA as they reach their full potential, and we can’t wait to see all the good they will do.

To learn more about HCDA, please visit their webpage.

Feeling inspired? Click here to donate.


Writing Wrongs: Angela Powell’s Story

Justin Sweitzer

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Addiction: Stories of Hope”, contains interviews with residents at Easy Does It (EDI), an addiction recovery facility in Leesport, PA. The following is the summary of a piece that was originally produced for the magazine by Justin Sweitzer of Kutztown University.

Writing Wrongs 2016 Edition

Buy the book!

Sweitzer’s article, “Angela Powell Finds Chance for Redemption at EDI”, tells the story of a mother of three who just wanted to do what was best for her kids. “I just wanted to be supermom,” she told Sweitzer during her interview while describing what started her drug use. She had been trying to do it allworking full time while caring for her childrenwhen an injury lead her to painkillers and eventually alcohol. She found her way to Easy Does It after a chain of misfortune caused her to make an attempt on her own life.

You can read the full story of Angela’s redemption here

You can also purchase the entire book here.

Are you interested in joining the Writing Wrongs staff in 2017 to explore the topic of immigration? Writing Wrongs is looking for students from a variety of fields to participate in the project.

Applications are open now and can be found here.

Banner Photo: Portrait of Angela Powell by Katelyn Bennett


Contest Winner: Education in Every Language

On November 28th, 2016, the Humanitarian Social Innovations board of directors met to review submissions for the Lehigh Student Enterprise Plan Pitch Contest. The HSI sponsored contest asked Lehigh University students to submit a business plan for a social enterprise they wanted to bring to life. The three winners are to receive incubation and free application for fiscal sponsorship should they choose to move forward with their programs.

The first place winner of the Student Enterprise Contest is Education in Every Language— a program that will provide native-language tutoring to English Language Learning (ELL) elementary school students by pairing them with Lehigh University students of the same ethnic background.

Education in Every Language is the brainchild of Anastassiya Perevezentseva, Heather Wadyka, and Chelsea Cooper. The three women were motivated to create this program by a shared interest in education, and said they had noticed a need in the community for a mentorship program that not only provides English language tutoring, but also fosters cultural kinship for students that have smaller ethnic communities in Bethlehem.

“If a kid needs to know what a word is in Spanish, there will probably be five other kids in the class who can help him. But if a student speaks Chinese, there might only be one,” said Cooper.

Education in Every Language would like to set up their program with Donegan Elementary School on 4th Street in South Bethlehem, PA.

“Donegan has the exact makeup we need,” said Perevezentseva. This is due in part to Donegan being a community school that focuses on student development and works with community stakeholders to further their goal. Donegan already has a partnership with Lehigh University, which would ease the program’s incorporation.

Education in Every Language may be off to a rocky start. Cooper and Perevezentseva are to leave the country after this semester, which will leave most of the planning up to Wadyka. Even though she is facing a busy final semester, Heather will try to get the program off the ground and into capable hands before she graduates.