My internship experience with Make-A-Wish Colorado by Taylor Callahan
I first heard about Make-A-Wish® when I was 10 years old. It was during the commercial break of the Rose Bowl where a wish kid was featured dancing and smiling on the sideline of his favorite football team. As an outsider, Make-A-Wish left a lasting impression on me. I was amazed that there was an organization dedicated to making ill children happy and how much impact their wishes carried.
This past spring, I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in International Affairs in hopes of working for a nonprofit. My 10 year old self said I should intern at Make-A-Wish. So in June 2014, I started the communication internship at the Make-A-Wish Colorado chapter. I interview wish kids and families for wish stories, update social media, and occasionally write a blog about my experience.
As an insider, Make-A-Wish still touches me. The staff consists of compassionate and selfless people who dedicate a lot of time and effort into granting wishes.
While Make-A-Wish and its mission continue to floor me, its wish kids amaze me every day. Every child has a different socioeconomic status, race, and illness but they all share one strong quality - perseverance.
During one of my first interviews, 12-year-old Wyatt told me that he didn’t let his illness change him; he just learned to deal with it. I was shocked.
I have interviewed a multitude of wish kids and family members and I am amazed that each one gives me the same answer – the only option was to accept what happened and move on from there. Like so many unexpected events in life, we have little control over them. These wish kids, while only kids, understand that and make the best of their situation.
Some people do not make the best of a situation and instead become impatient or resentful. When I first started interning here, I thought some kids would share that attitude. But somehow, every wish kid is as positive and resilient as the prior. I have yet to meet a wish kid that gives me any sign of weakness or glimpse of self-pity. For being kids, they have more courage than I think I have ever had.
At the end of every interview, I ask the wish family and child if they have anything else to share. They always thank the organization. At the end of my internship, I will thank Make-A-Wish Colorado too. This organization has given me a once in a lifetime opportunity to grow professionally while learning more about myself and how fortunate I am. But I also want to thank every wish kid. They have taught me more about self-perseverance. They have taught me that in life a lot of unexpected events will occur and that one will be happier embracing their situation to the best of their ability. That is a life lesson that some people will never learn. But for me, it is a life lesson that wish kids taught me in only two short months. Maybe kids are the wise ones, and we adults should listen more to them.
I am grateful to be here at Make-A-Wish Colorado and I will forever be grateful to the many wish kids that make it so special to intern and work here.