Rachel Pearson '14
Gilda's Club, Buffalo, NY
BPIP Internship Fund

My Experience:

I interned for Gilda's Club Western New York, located in Buffalo, New York. Gilda's Club is an organization that has a network of clubhouses in the U.S. and abroad that provide social and emotional support for all people affected by cancer. This could include cancer patients, cancer survivors, and the family and friends of cancer patients and those who have died as a result of the disease. Membership and programming at Gilda's Club is free. Gilda's Club, is named in honor of Gilda Radner, actress, comedienne, and Saturday Night Live alum who died from ovarian cancer. During her treatment she visited a cancer wellness center and found much support there. Her husband, Gene Wilder, and psychotherapist, Joanna Bull helped found Gilda's Club in 1995 to give more people access to the support she found so meaningful. I worked for the Director of Children's Programming.  I helped plan, organize, and run children's camps, special events, and general programming, and I did marketing, outreach, and so much more.

What is the most interesting or important thing you took from your Internship this summer?

The most rewarding part of my internship was being able to interact with the members of Gilda's Club.  I especially enjoyed Camp Sparkle, which was a four day camp for children affected by cancer. Some had lost parents to cancer; others had parents currently in treatment; others had been cancer patients themselves. It was so wonderful to see all these children brought together by their common experiences with cancer and able to express their feelings and concerns, but also have fun and be children again.

How did the BPIP Fund help make your experience possible?

The BPIP fund gave me the peace of mind to pursue rewarding and important summer work whereby I could help others and also refine my work skills. I learned so much and am so grateful for the opportunity to have the wonderful summer experiences I did. The BPIP fund gave me the peace of mind to pursue rewarding and important summer work whereby I could help others and also refine my work skills. I highly recommend BPIP to students because it gives them the option of doing unpaid work without having to worry about their summer expenses. I cannot tell you how amazed all the people I worked with at Gilda's Club were by this amazing program! I am so thankful to BPIP for helping out Bucknell students in this way.  

Would you recommend the BPIP Fund?

I definitely recommend the BPIP fund to students. If you are thinking about an internship in the nonprofit or government sector look into the program more and over winter break start researching and applying for internships. Then fill out the BPIP application!

Other comments:

I would like to thank everyone at BPIP for giving students the opportunity to participate in this impressive program. My summer internship was so consequential for me. I learned so much about non-profit work and really was able to refine my career goals and desires. It was an honor to work for Gilda's Club and interact with all the members there.

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