News

From Engineering to Public Relations, Summer 2019 Interns Make an Impact

At Water Mission, our interns gain in-depth experience in providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions that serve communities around the world. This summer, we welcomed ten college students and recent graduates to our headquarters, and enjoyed the cheer and passion they brought to our team. From engineering and church partnerships to community development, writing, and public relations, our interns have made a huge impact on our work. Meet them below!

Josh Burns

Church Partnerships Intern
Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
School: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Major: Environmental Public Health

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? After college, I tried a job in sales and didn’t feel it was the place for me. I’ve had a passion for bringing clean, safe water to those without, and I wanted to do something that would make a big impact for God. I felt called to a Christian nonprofit and ultimately found Water Mission to be a great fit.

What’s your favorite project so far? I traveled to Kansas City with a member of the church partnerships team to connect with Methodist churches. I enjoyed talking with people about the global water crisis and getting people excited to make a difference. It was fun to connect with youth and church leaders!

Coolest place you’ve been: The Rocky Mountains in Estes Park

Best meal you’ve had in Charleston: Steve’s (information technology support) pulled pork on Taco Tuesdays

Greatest physical feat: Shooting a deer bow hunting when it was -15° F during the winter

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: Infectious Disease Ecology

Number of siblings: Three brothers and three sisters

 

LouLou Byars

Stewardship Intern
Hometown: Charleston, SC
School: Vanderbilt University
Major: Human and Organizational Development

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? After going on a trip with Water Mission last November, I wanted to finish work on the Chiapas initiative. I felt connected to that place and the work I had already put into it. I also see myself in a nonprofit career in the future.

What’s your favorite project so far? My main project is Chiapas, Mexico. I focus on thanking past donors for their contributions and fundraising for our new sanitation projects there.

Coolest place you’ve been: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Greatest physical feat: I chopped a block of wood with a wedge at camp last year

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: Human Rights and International Law

Interesting hobby: I like to draw and paint.

Color that describes you: Yellow

 

Zula Coley

General Engineering Intern
Hometown: Johnson City, TN
School: Milligan College
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I wanted to use engineering to help people in poverty. Water Mission seemed like a very unique opportunity to do that within a Christian context.

What’s your favorite project so far? I built Microsoft Excel analysis tools to give feedback on field training. It helps staff target the areas they can improve on when training.

Coolest place you’ve been: Koh Tao, Thailand

Favorite sport to watch: Soccer

Greatest physical feat: I backpacked a section of the Appalachian Trail with my dad

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: My undergraduate research (doing a safe water project for a community in Sneedville, TN)

Interesting hobby: I really enjoy art in general. Specifically, one of my favorite projects is layered paper art.

 

Natalie Hodde

Innovation Intern
Hometown: Dallas, TX
School: Oklahoma State University
Major: Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I chose to study engineering with the hope that I could use it in a humanitarian capacity. I’ve always been interested in safe water access, and Water Mission is one of the few organizations that does it full-time. I’m glad I can see what it’s like from the inside.

What’s your favorite project so far? I’ve enjoyed doing the various circuitry and electrical work in each of my projects. It’s been fun to use some of the skills I learned in class that I didn’t expect to use.

Coolest place you’ve been: Montenegro was the most jaw-droppingly beautiful place I’ve ever been.

Favorite sport to watch: Everything during the Olympics

Best meal you’ve had in Charleston: I don’t know if I have a favorite meal, but I love that they serve biscuits everywhere.

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: I took an Irish dance class once.

 

Kiersten Keely

Events and Engagement Intern
Hometown: Tampa, FL
School: Auburn University
Major: Biomedical Sciences; Minor: Nonprofit & Philanthropy Studies

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I am very passionate about ending the global water crisis and worked with an organization at school called Auburn for Water. I loved Water Mission’s initiative and values, and I can see myself in a career that ties in with what I’ve done for my internship.

What’s your favorite project so far? I attend the volunteer huddle at 9 a.m. every day and help update them on what’s going on with Water Mission. I pray over them and try to get to know them better. They have lots of really cool stories!

Coolest place you’ve been: La Vega, Dominican Republic

Favorite sport to watch: Auburn football

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: Biomedical Physiology

Color that describes you: Blue

 

Samantha Price

Production Management Intern
Hometown: Ponte Vedra, FL
School: Denison University
Major: Global Commerce; Minor: Economics and French

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I was in Ghana last summer, working with another nonprofit in the northern region. When I got home, someone mentioned Water Mission as an organization I might be interested in. I read about it, and it seemed like they did meaningful work that I could get into.

What’s your favorite project so far? I helped engineers set up a model of a safe water treatment system for Puerto Rico, which was cool. In general, collaborating with the engineering team and working with volunteers has been very rewarding.

Coolest place you’ve been: Havasu Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: Sustainable Development and Climate Finance

Number of siblings: One older sister

Interesting hobby: Backcountry skiing

 

Isabelle Rocco

PR & Social Media Intern
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
School: North Carolina State University
Major: Public Relations; Minor: Nonprofit Studies

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I found out about Water Mission through my Young Life leader. I liked the idea of growing professionally and spiritually in an internship. I also found that my core beliefs aligned with those of the ministry, especially bringing both clean, safe water and the gospel to people who need them.

What’s your favorite project so far? I loved getting to do research on LinkedIn as a platform. I did a Lunch & Learn presentation for Charleston staff about how they could better network on LinkedIn.

Coolest place you’ve been: Frontier Ranch Young Life camp in Buena Vista, Colorado

Favorite sport to watch: NC State Wolfpack football… GO PACK!

Greatest physical feat: I ran a half-marathon last April.

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: World Population and Food Distribution

Color that describes you: Sunshine yellow because I love to laugh and smile!

 

Alyvia Schaad

General Engineering Intern
Hometown: Durham, NC
School: Duke University
Major: Civil Engineering

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I was looking for a clean water charity internship and came across Water Mission. I learned about the organization and became very interested in the scope of their work and how they go about it. I spoke with one of the engineers and her enthusiasm inspired me.

What’s your favorite project so far? I helped produce videos to include in new training modules for staff on the Tanzania team. Creating the videos and trainings provided the opportunity to mix the technical side of a Water Mission project with the creative side. We got lots of exposure to the technical handbook, so we were able to learn a lot about water quality and water quality testing. On top of that, we learned even more through our hands-on time working with the equipment when making the videos.

Coolest place you’ve been: Florence, Italy

Favorite sport to watch: Duke basketball

Best meal you’ve had in Charleston: Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Greatest physical feat: White water rafting on the Nile River

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: Global Health Ethics

 

Ben Schools

Writing Intern
Hometown:
Charleston, SC
School: University of Virginia
Major: English

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? I wanted to find a way to do meaningful work in the writing field. I knew a little about Water Mission, but after doing more research and speaking with some of the staff, I saw that they were doing unparalleled work and I wanted to be a part of it.

What’s your favorite project so far? I’ve enjoyed interviewing people for various blog posts. It’s a nice way to meet people around the office and learn about the different areas of Water Mission.

Coolest place you’ve been: C.S. Lewis excursion through England (London, Cambridge, and Oxford)

Favorite sport to watch: UVA hoops

Coolest class you’ve taken in school: Icelandic Literature

Interesting hobby: Surfing

Color that describes you: Blue

 

Tristan Veal

Innovation Engineering Intern
Hometown: Charleston, SC
School: Clemson University
Major: Environmental Engineering

Why did you want to intern with Water Mission? On a family trip to Iquitos, Peru, I saw a great need for safe water and sanitation initiatives and became interested in that sort of work. My church did a Walk for Water, and I learned more about Water Mission. I found it to be a perfect combination for my engineering and philanthropic interests.

What’s your favorite project so far? One of our projects has been re-working pressure release valves to function well with a newly tested chlorinator, specifically trying to increase the working pressure. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s pretty fun stuff!

Coolest place you’ve been: Machu Picchu, Peru

Favorite sport to watch: Soccer

Best meal you’ve had in Charleston: Shrimp and grits from Henry’s

Greatest physical feat: Three-time state champion in soccer while in high school

Interesting hobby: Water skiing and wakeboarding

We are thankful for our 2019 summer interns! While we’re sad to see them go, we look forward to seeing what God has in store for them. We are so proud of how they each have risen to the occasion, and we invite you to join us in encouraging and congratulating them by leaving a comment below.

To learn about our upcoming fall internships, visit our Get Involved page.

Join our interns and staff in ending the global water crisis.

No Responses.