Volunteers of the Month: Fall Interns

November 27, 2019

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. CUESA relies on volunteers and interns to help with education programs, special events, public outreach, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to grow thriving communities through the power and joy of food. Learn more about volunteering and submit an application here. You can also sign up for our next volunteer orientation on January 9, 2020 here.

CUESA volunteers offer a breadth of support for our educational programs like Foodwise Kids and Foodwise Teens. In the summer and fall, dedicated interns engage with CUESA on a deeper level to help manage different aspects of our Sunday Supper gala to support those programs. This fall, a trio of college interns – Auction Intern Karla Zaragoza and Event Intern Shelby Clemente from University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program, and Westmont College junior and Administrative Intern Abigail Park – are completing a semester of behind-the-scenes work to ensure the smooth running of our events to exceed our fundraising goals.

Hailing from El Paso, Karla lent her enthusiasm and supported multiple projects, such as fundraising events, farmers market activations, and partnerships. “Karla successfully coordinated and managed the silent auction at Sunday Supper,” says Development and Event Coordinator Rebecca Crawbuck. “We will certainly miss Karla and her can-do attitude in the office.”

Oahu native Shelby brought her dedication and calm demeanor to support CUESA’s Sunday Supper guest registration. “Her thoughtful database work and incredible hospitality skills made her the perfect fit for this challenging task, along with other fundraising and development projects,” Rebecca adds. “She has been a reliable, helpful, and cheerful fit on our team, and we are grateful for her hard work.”

Running her own children’s baking camp in San Diego, Abby supported the administrative efforts for Sunday Supper, CUESA’s Foodwise Teens program, and volunteer events. She also enhanced the visuals of our recent apple guide and in the process of working on social media strategies with CUESA’s communications team. “Abby brought an open mind and willingness to learn the event ropes and explore her interest in communications,” says Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator Cindy Mendoza. “It’s been great to weave her artistic talent into our work, and she’s been a great asset to our rock star intern team.”

Karla: “This internship opened new doors for me and taught me new things, and I can apply school teachings to real-life situations. For me, not only did I see my contributions I made at this internship, but the funds I helped raise went to programs benefiting other students, which made this internship even more memorable and rewarding. It was great knowing that everything I did was helpful in many ways. Thank you, CUESA!”

Shelby: “Interning at CUESA has been such an educational and rewarding experience. In addition to the opportunity to excel in my professional development, I learned what a sustainable healthy diet consists of. Because I was able to work in the office and support farmers market classes, I’ve gained some professional skills and knowledge on how to be more mindful as a conscious shopper. CUESA plays a vital role in bringing awareness about sustainable farming through their educational programs and valued relationships with local growers, which gave me a greater respect and appreciation for our local farmers. It has been an honor to be a part of an amazing organization that has made and will continue to make a positive impact in the community.”

Abigail: “I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the work that goes into nonprofits. Through events like Sunday Supper, I’ve developed communication and event planning skills. Additionally, I have had opportunities to integrate my passion for art into my work. I admire how CUESA aims to create sustainable programs and encourage sustainable practices within local communities. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve gained while working here, and I will miss this place next semester!”