Meet our Summer Interns: Kayla

Published on July 28, 2023 | Meet the Team


Welcome to the first in a series of interviews with Eli, James, Kayla, and Spencer, all of whom are interns at Community Action Partnership of Strafford County this summer of 2023!

We are so grateful to our summer interns for stepping in and helping out CAPSC in a major way this summer. From meal prep for Summer Meals to creating a new program guide for our families to raising money for our upcoming Golf Tournament to entering and analyzing data through our internal software system EmpowOR, our summer interns have had a major impact on CAPSC’s programs and operations.

In these interviews, they share their experiences as college students and young adults entering the professional world through this opportunity with CAPSC. Although they have been involved in some of the same events and programs over the past couple months, they have each been drawn to different areas of the organization based on personal interests. We discuss how these interests have shaped their experiences and what lessons they have learned along the way.

Why did you choose CAPSC for your summer internship?

Kayla: Part of the reason why I chose CAPSC for my summer internship is because of my interest in public and population health: a critical field that ties into just about every other discipline. After doing some independent research on CAPSC, it became clear to me that the programs and services offered here directly target the determinants of health. The determinants of health are factors that influence health outcomes and quality of life, and CAPSC has a strong focus on improving people’s quality of life. I knew this was an organization whose values would align with my own, and as someone who was born and raised in Strafford County, being able to help my fellow community members made the opportunity even more appealing.

What things have you been involved with at CAPSC this summer?

Kayla: I’ve been involved in a variety of different events this summer, and I’ve been tasked with an even broader variety of projects. Early on in my internship, I had the opportunity to attend the Greater Seacoast Reception with the Community Loan Fund which was a great opportunity to practice my networking skills. I’ve attended a handful of important meetings, including a CAPSC Board meeting, a construction meeting regarding the major housing project that is currently underway, and a manager’s meeting. These have each given me a glimpse of what goes on at CAPSC and how to navigate similar experiences in the future. Other notable moments include working at the front desk, assisting with a major USDA food distribution, distributing flyers and packing food for the Summer Meals program, and generating social media posts.

What are your responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

Kayla: Since I have been involved in numerous projects and events here at CAPSC, I always like to claim that there is no “typical” day with this internship. While this statement tends to ring true, I do have one major responsibility that has been consistent throughout this experience and will remain consistent until the internship comes to a close. My major project is to update the program book, so I have spent numerous hours researching and fact-checking the services offered by CAPSC in order to organize the information in a way that’s easy for any and all of the general public to understand.

What has been your favorite part of the internship so far, and what have you learned from it?

Kayla: One of my favorite aspects of my internship at CAPSC is that no two days look the same. The variety adds excitement to my days while simultaneously providing me with increased opportunities to learn and develop professional skills that will serve me in the future. It’s difficult to narrow down a favorite experience, but if I had to pick just one, it would be working at the front desk. I enjoy the client interaction, and I can only hope that the positivity I present myself with has made a difference in at least one person’s day. Working at the front desk is also extremely eye-opening to the struggles that people are facing in my own community. This awareness motivates me to work harder and continue advocating for others, and I am fortunate to be in a position that allows me to do just that.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from your experience at CAPSC?

Kayla: The biggest lesson I have learned during my time at CAPSC is that passion and compassion can only go so far. And I don’t mean that in a negative way: these are essential qualities for non-profit work, but they are not solely responsible for the success of a person or organization. I am lucky to work alongside people who are passionate about what they do, but they are also dedicated, resilient, patient, and creative. The bottom line is you need concrete skills to support your passion enough to make the difference you want to make, and openly advocating for the cause is vital.

Has this experience influenced your future goals? If yes, how?

Kayla: This experience has definitely influenced my future goals; in fact, it has completely changed the idea I had of my future prior to this internship. Before coming to CAPSC, I thought I wanted to go to law school and eventually become a healthcare attorney, but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. After only a couple months with this organization, I have decided I want to pursue a master’s degree in public health instead. I’ve had a strong interest in public health ever since I started studying Health Management and Policy at UNH, and working at CAPSC has made me realize that I can make a big difference with this passion. The food and nutrition programs at CAPSC have caught my interest more than anything else so, moving forward, I could see myself working in a non-profit that targets food insecurity. The Department of Health and Human Services is also high on my radar for potential career opportunities.

Read our interviews with James, Eli and Spencer

Upcoming Events

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Food and Nutrition Services

CAPSC provides many services dedicated to providing food to families in need.  Through our food pantry, summer meals program, and holiday food basket programs, which are open to the community, our aim is to reduce malnutrition by providing access to nutritious food and supplies to anyone who walks through our doors.

Read more here.

Ways to Get Involved

We thank the many members of our community who give their time, their skilled expertise, and their warm smiles in support of the programs at CAPSC. If you are interested in getting involved in one of our programs, we have many options.

Whether you are interested in a one-time event, or want to find a recurring volunteer spot, our goal is to try to match our needs with your interests, and to grow our family of caring individuals who give so much back to their community.

Read more.