• Studying history.
  • Passionate about education.
  • A Lilly Project intern.
  • From Hillsboro, Ore.
  • Exploring my vocation.

Kimberly Hursh worked on programs that help foster children through her internship with a local nonprofit.

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Fostering Hope

A summer internship allowed Kimberly Hursh to explore a career path while helping the community.

Instead of bumming at the beach or trotting the globe, Kimberly Hursh spent her summer at an internship that helped her lay the groundwork for her vocation and serve the community.

While extending a helping hand to families in need through the nonprofit Catholic Community Services in Salem, Ore., Hursh learned project management skills, presented extensive research and discovered more about a potential career path.

Hursh found her internship through the Lilly Project, an organization through the Office of the Chaplains that helps students to explore their vocation. Outside organizations can apply to become Lilly internship sites, and the Chaplains Office helps to place students in positions.

Honing Job Skills

Hursh is a history major with an ambition to become an educator. She helped CCS organize events and activities for foster children who are aged beyond the system. She also had a hand in launching two new programs called Safe Families for Children and Family Finders, both of which help relocate foster children.

"There are so many details to projects like this, and I sat in on meetings with the Oregon Department of Human Services, the CCS legal and marketing departments and the National Chapter of Safe Families. I also ran meetings with faith communities in Salem. All of this showed me that a project this large can only be accomplished when smaller tasks are identified and then delegated out, which also requires a great deal of communication."

Through this internship, Hursh also had the opportunity to present research regarding the necessity of social networking for nonprofit outreach. She says this "was a challenge," but it allowed her to be creative, and to articulate her passion for the project — an enthusiasm that she was able to reflect on through the Lilly Project.

Exploring Career Paths

"The Lilly internship comes with a great bonus: every week, all the interns meet to discuss vocation and their personal journeys. It's a great exercise in self-awareness and discovering what you're meant to do."

Hursh says those debriefing meetings paid off — her internship helped her to shape her character and build goals for the future.

"I discovered that I like to have a lot of freedom to be creative and to go in my own direction. It also reaffirmed my belief that education and knowledge are the tools needed to break cycles of abuse and poverty. Because of this, I am more determined than ever that I want to be an educator in some way."

This story was written by English and biology major Hannah Moser '13.

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