Henry Egan ’22 — I am an English Literature major with a double minor in Asian Studies and Gender Studies. I am a member of shOUT and the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship (CIBE) at Wabash College. Thank you to the Dill Fund for funding my summer experience. I want to thank Seth Nunan, Lindsay Knez, Frank Knez, Associate Dean Roland Morin, and the alumni donors for this experience. Dr. Crystal Benedicks and Ms. Deborah Woods at Wabash College were also great resources.

This summer, I had the privilege of working with Building Essential Skills Together, Inc. (B.E.S.T.) as a grant writing and research intern. B.E.S.T. is a non-profit that provides skill-development workshops, supported employment, and volunteer opportunities to adults of all abilities. B.E.S.T. ultimately wants the individuals they serve to leave their programs with the skills and confidence needed to find fulfilling employment and seeks to address the needs of individuals with a disability that might require additional assistance to become independent members of the community.

As an English major, I am accustomed to writing. Grant writing, however, posed a new challenge. Grant proposals call for the writer to tell a story of their funding organization. Like any subgenre of writing, this poses its own set of challenges. I had to learn strict attention to detail. When researching granters and applications, one must be careful to ensure the granter is a good fit for your organization and fits the requirements for the grant. This research required much time searching across databases for eligible grant opportunities. Writing grant applications and proposals showed me the importance of compiling important information while making a thorough outline before the writing process. I made sure to collect and organize any information that I would need to write the applications correctly. 

Finally, this experience taught me the importance of taking time to revise and proofread. Attention to detail is crucial to grant writing. The proposal must ensure funds from the granter. Word choice must be on point and match the buzzwords and vocabulary used by the granter to appeal to their sensibilities. Overall, this practice gave me a new perspective on the time and number of revisions it takes to get a piece of writing to its best.

Lastly, I thank the Dill Fund for funding this great experience and all the Wabash staff and alumni for their help and resources throughout this summer.