Ben Mijangos Sampsell ’24 — This summer I have had the opportunity of interning at the Mosquito Lake Community Center, in Haines, Alaska. During my time here, I have been working alongside the town’s borough and both local and statewide non-profit organizations to create community programs and coordinate food security efforts for the residents of Haines and the Mosquito Lake area. I am very grateful to the WLAIP Program for funding this opportunity in such a wonderful location and making this internship possible.

Throughout my time at the Mosquito Lake Community Center, I have had the opportunity to work in many different areas of the non-profit world, including grant writing, marketing, fundraiser design, volunteer supervision, and program development. One of our most recent accomplishments has been securing a $13,000 dollar grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, to develop a two-month-long Community Summer Art Camp featuring local artists as instructors. Additionally, I have been part of the communication line between the Community Center and other local organizations to schedule volunteer work parties and media outreach.

The work that the Community Center is involved with and the image it aspires to become has been truly inspiring, and a great opportunity to acquire hands-on Community Development work experience. Through this internship, I have gotten to meet and create bonds with community members, which has been one of the most rewarding aspects of volunteer work.