Braille Monitor                                      October 2016

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Summer Interns Come to Contribute and Learn

John Paré, Michael Ausbun, Mark Riccobono, Julie McGinnity with her dog guide Bill in front of her, Jerad Nylin, and Anil Lewis pose together in front of the Jernigan Institute.

From the beginning of June through the early part of August, the Jernigan Institute hosted three interns who had demonstrated a commitment to the organization, possessed leadership potential, and demonstrated energy and enthusiasm in earlier Federation work. The purpose of the internship was twofold: to build on this leadership and to tackle some much-needed work that would challenge their creativity and their ability to work as a team.

The 2016 interns were Michael Ausbun of Nevada, Julie McGinnity of Missouri, and Jerad Nylin of Iowa. Jerad and Michael worked together on STEM EQ, and both say that working as mentors in the program was a mountaintop experience. Jerad said that the experience he found most valuable was learning his own strengths and weaknesses and how important communication is in working as a team. Michael loved being a mentor and found that contact with his own mentors and fellow interns was the most valuable part of his experience. Julie thought that being an intern gave her a wonderful view of the Federation nationally and enjoyed her work planning for and executing a plan for affiliate building.

All of the interns went to Capitol Hill to support the Federation’s legislative priorities. Not only do they learn more about the process, but getting to know the senators, representatives, and the staff members who play important roles for our public servants was enormously helpful.

Perhaps Julie McGinnity best summed up their feelings as they move on to new challenges, "The internship didn't lead me to a destination. It led me to believe in the worthwhileness of our further journey.”

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