Headwaters Relief Organization Internships

A cornerstone of Headwaters Relief Organization’s mission is to inspire others to serve. We work to ensure that every volunteer, regardless of age, background, skills, or experience feels valued and motivated to continue to serve others. We forge connections between those who are being served, the Headwaters team and the community. As a non-profit organization and a collaboration of volunteers, we look for ways and people to help orchestrate all that we offer. One of the things we have done is to offer paid internships. Internships give the intern exposure to non-profit work as well as the opportunity for skill building. It also helps Headwaters staff get our work done. Over the years, we have had interns help us in many capacities. We have had interns who have helped with technology. We have had those who engaged in clerical work on behalf of the organization. We have also had interns who helped us get ready for volunteer trips. Most of our interns have gone on to become Headwaters volunteers. All the interns have found their internship experience meaningful.

We have provided a glimpse into the experiences of several of our interns below. We hope you find their stories interesting.

Apply Today!

If you are interested in our internship opportunities, please contact us at info@headwatersrelief.org with your letter of interest.

Internship Experience

Madeleine Hage

Medical / Public Health Intern

Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Summer 2017, Summer 2018

About me:

I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and from a young age I was taught the importance of compassion, service, and kindness towards others. I began volunteering with Headwaters Relief Organization at the age of 10 and tried to manifest these values in everything that I did. This ultimately helped me realize that I wanted to be a physician and drove me towards the goal of medical school. As a medical student, I have been active in community service both with Headwaters and with the local community here in New Orleans. In my free time I love embracing all that this vibrant city has to offer including the unique food, one of a kind shopping, and lively festivals.

What did I do during my internship?

As an intern for Headwaters, I worked on many different types of projects. During the first few summers I primarily helped the organization prepare for relief trips, assisted with fundraising efforts, and coordinated summer events. Once I had gained more medical knowledge in school, my role shifted to helping with public health research, creating health and safety protocols, and working with the organization’s medical professionals to better the medical response model.

What am I doing currently?

Currently, I am in my last year of medical school at Tulane University. I am applying to residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and looking forward to beginning my career in women’s health!

Do you have any stories to share about your experience in the office or on a trip while interning with Headwaters?

One of the most impactful experiences that I had with Headwaters was when went on a relief trip to Haiti right before I began my medical school education. I had spent the summer interning for Headwaters, so I had been involved in planning for the trip and felt very invested in the work. While on this trip I worked closely with the medical staff and was amazed by what they were able to do for the patients despite very limited resources. When I returned to the U.S. and started medical school, that experience made me realize how fortunate physicians here are to have so many diagnostic tools available. I carried this new perspective with me throughout my training and it helped me remember to be more creative and resourceful when coming up with solutions to my patient’s complex medical issues.

Interning with Headwaters helped me gain an appreciation for the complex nature of nonprofit work. The opportunities that interning and volunteering provided were crucial in helping me realize my passion for medicine. This work helped me learn skills and emphasized values that have fostered my success in medical school.

Lowell Feldhahn

Administrative Assistant

Spring – Fall 2019

About me:

I’m a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota with a double major in Psychology and Japanese language studies. I met some members of the Headwaters Relief Organization crew doing community theater in Minneapolis and decided to get involved in their domestic and international relief efforts.

What did I do during my internship?

During my time as an administrative assistant at Headwaters, I catalogued past relief trip information, organized photos from relief efforts, helped coordinate fundraising opportunities, curated a space for items from Haiti and Nepal available to be purchased, and volunteered as a Headwaters representative at events for nonprofit organizations.

What are you doing currently?

I currently work as a mental health worker with Residential Transitions and as a resident assistant with Presbyterian Homes. I will begin a job teaching English in Japan as soon as it becomes safe to travel internationally again.

How did interning impact you?

Interning with Headwaters gave me the opportunity to gain experience working at an active disaster relief nonprofit and understand the processes involved in aiding communities affected by natural disasters. Their mental health advocacy efforts through children’s books that deal with the aftermath of natural disasters further influenced my own desire to be a mental health advocate while I work abroad.
Do you have any stories to share about your experience in the office or on a trip while interning with Headwaters?

I went on a Headwaters trip to Oklahoma in 2013 to aid communities that had been affected by tornado damage. The energy on the trip was incredible, with people working 10+ hour days and still maintaining a smile and positive attitude throughout. At the end of the trip, some of us managed to make it to the Beyonce tour that just happened to be passing through. There’s no reward for hard work like Beyonce.

Interning with Headwaters gave me the opportunity to gain experience working at an active disaster relief nonprofit and understand the processes involved in aiding communities affected by natural disasters. Their mental health advocacy efforts through children’s books that deal with the aftermath of natural disasters further influenced my own desire to be a mental health advocate while I work abroad.

Julia Demgen

Administrative Assistant

2013 – 2014

About me:

I currently live in South Minneapolis, where I was born and raised. I attended St. Catherine University, where I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2015. I enjoy traveling, music and podcasts, as well as trying new local restaurants with friends.

what did I do during my internship?

During my internship, I primarily worked on creating a system to track our employees’ volunteer hours and then submit them to Points of Light for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. I also assisted in ordering supplies and packing for the volunteer trips to Haiti.

What are you doing currently?

I currently work as the HR Manager for Orion ISO and Morning Sun Financial Services. I like to volunteer as often as possible and encourage my team to volunteer frequently as well.

Do you have any stories to share about your experience in the office or on a trip while interning with Headwaters?

I started volunteering in 2005 with River of Hope after Hurricane Katrina. I went on to volunteer multiple times in New Orleans, and then when River of Hope expanded and became Headwaters Relief Organization, I went on a volunteer trip to Haiti. Volunteering in Haiti really opened my eyes to the poverty and trauma experienced in other parts of the world. My volunteer experiences led me to want to intern with Headwaters to fulfill my internship requirement for my Psychology Major. This eventually led me back to Orion for my Career.

Did interning at Headwaters impact you? If so, how did interning impact you?

Interning with Headwater’s was my first position working in an office. I developed a lot of communication and organization skills, which transferred into my schoolwork at the time and then into my career. It also made me realize that I wanted to work for a company that is committed to people and that I wanted to do work that is meaningful to me.

Headwaters is a great organization that has helped the people that we serve in communities experiencing natural disasters while fostering a culture of volunteerism within Orion Associates, Meridian Services, Zenith Services and Morning Sun Financial Services.

Sammy Karon

Fundraising Intern

2014 – 2015

About me:

I interned at Headwaters Relief Organization during the summers of 2014 and 2015 (after my freshman and sophomore years of college). I learned about the organization and internship program through Madeleine Hage, who I met in college in Atlanta and happened to grow up just down the street from in Minneapolis.

What did I do during my internship?

I learned about fundraising, organizing international aid trips, and the concept of disaster relief response.

What are you doing currently?

I’m a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Public Health.

Do you have any stories to share about your experience in the office or on a trip while interning with Headwaters?

I had so much fun getting to know the staff and other interns. The memory that stands out to me is a simple one: being in Rebecca’s office surrounded by 3’ tall stacks of paper and working with Madeleine and Luke to organize everything, which was actually really fun because of the good company!

Learning about disaster relief response and psychological first aid inspired me to pursue a career in public health. Years later, I’m still so thankful for this early professional opportunity. Thank you to Rebecca, Madeleine, Ashley and Luke for making me feel welcome & helping me grow!

Jonathan Presson

Social Media / Media Intern

2019

About me:

I am a senior in high school, I’m very passionate about video production and hope to go into it as a career field.

What did I do during my internship?

Going on a Trip to Iowa and creating content for Headwaters Relief Organization social media platforms.

What are you doing currently?

Currently I am not working a job but am shooting and directing a documentary on my High School soccer team and COVID-19.

Do you have any stories to share about your experience in the office or on a trip while interning with Headwaters?

The trip to Iowa was a great experience helping others. There was a house we were stripping down, and the state was so flooded that the lightbulbs were filled with water. We didn’t see many people, but it was great helping in what ways we could.

It was very impactful to realize what we should all be thankful for because we could lose it all at any time. You also learn how to grow your empathetic values and grow as a person.

Amber Warren

Administrative Assistant

June 2016 – Jan 2018

About me:

My name is Amber Warren and I’m 23 years old. I graduated in 2019 from Winona State University with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Advertising. I live in Minnesota currently but would love to live out East one day.

My experience while working an internship at Headwaters

During the summer, I would pack suitcases with clothes, art and crafts supplies, games, and food that would be sent to orphanages in areas devastated by natural disasters. During the winters, I would assist with clerical and other office tasks.

What are you doing currently?

I currently work as a Customer Service Representative with Graybar Electric in Brooklyn Park, MN. I take orders, key returns, help some customer problems, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I just passed my one-year anniversary this month and I really enjoy my work and my coworkers.

Do you have any stories to share about your experience in the office or on a trip while interning with Headwaters?

I’m not sure if it’s necessarily a story, but one time I got to go to the store to pick out supplies for the orphanages and that was really fun. I really enjoyed picking out the items we would be sending to the different countries we worked with.

I really enjoyed packing suitcases that were sent over to children in different countries. It really made me feel good to know that my work was going to be greatly benefitting people around the world. That was a nice feeling to have.

Support our work. Get involved or donate.

100% of your contributions go directly to the people we support.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami