All Work and No Pay: The Internship

I’ve had the chance to intern twice so far for the Youth Competitive Programming Circle, a local nonprofit that promotes coding literacy in youth. What really has set this experience apart is this:

  1. YCPC was founded by students for students.
    A teenager from my school (only a freshman at the time) managed to turn a mere club at school into a fast-growing 501(c)(3) corporation that has acquired supporters like Microsoft, Lumosity, Slack, and Github.
  2. YCPC is student-run, and is advised by a board of esteemed individuals and volunteers.
    This creates a unique work environment, filled with like-minded individuals with whom I share a similar drive and age with. This makes collaborations so much more efficient and it’s such a stimulating atmosphere to be exposed to.
  3. It’s pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone. I have struggled in the past with trying to advance myself for fear of failure. I suddenly seem to contract Imposter Syndrome, and fill my mind with distractions and excuses. But, with an internship, there are other people reliant on me to complete tasks. This has forced me to do what is needed for YCPC, and jolted me out of my comfort zone. I guess, some of my fear dissolved thanks to the fact that at YCPC, I’m surrounded by so many encouraging colleagues. I think that this experience has been a great opportunity for me to grow as a person.

The first time I interned at YCPC, I was on the writing team. Though, this was definitely playing to my strengths and not really allowing me to develop new skills.

This time around, I decided to put myself out there more and joined the grants team. This later evolved into two separate teams, grants writing and fundraising. I am in the latter, and so far, the work has been difficult enough to challenge me, but familiar enough that I feel more assertive about taking on responsibilities.

Me and my partner, Katherine, have been in-charge of contacting places to hold fundraisers as well as brainstorming ideas for promotion. I thought I would share some of the work that we’ve been doing:

YCPC Ascona Fundraiser Flyer

Here’s the flyer for the first fundraiser we arranged. This was one of many versions that I designed. I used everything from Be Funky to Adobe Spark to Gimp in order to create them. The final design was an amalgamation of two designs (the most aesthetically pleasing and the most functional) and incorporated the input of my friends.


I was trying to think of a unique way of integrating technology into our promotional efforts. I mean, we are a tech company. In addition, and speaking from experience, I realized that teenagers (our target age), can be lazy. I knew that we had to make it as easy for them as possible to participate in our fundraiser, so that they might actually be enticed to do so.

Ultimately, I came up with the concept of using a Snapchat On-Demand Geofilter, specifically designed for each of our fundraisers, to replace flyers. Flyers work not only for promotion, but are also shown at the time of purchase to the cashier in order to indicate one’s participation.

After playing around with design and researching the cost, I realized that this could actually be feasible. And not only that, but effective.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 5.09.51 PM copy

For less than the price of a pack of gum, we could buy a Geofilter specifically for the date and time of our designated fundraiser.

Snapchat Geofilter - Adobe Spark #2 copy

Here’s the prototype design for the Snapchat Geofilter. Some elements that will be changed are the size, adjusting the background to meet requirements, and possibly adding a logo.

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