By Jaileen Guadalupe Escalante, a junior at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and an Unbound intern
I am 16 years old, love the color pink, volleyball, track and field, and traveling.
I’m a very active, happy person, always smiling and caring for others. I don’t like being bored; in fact I believe you should try to have fun 24/7, even if things aren’t going right. That way you’ll get through everything, because being yourself makes you special.
You’re getting to know so much about me, now let’s talk about what I do at Unbound!
I started working here at Unbound through a corporate work study program at my high school. The program helps pay for our tuition. Students like me go to a workplace once a week and work alongside the staff there. Students get assigned to organizations, hospitals, schools, law firms and more. I like it because you get to do a job that most other teenagers wouldn’t be able to do.
I have just started my second school year as a Cristo Rey intern at Unbound, and it’s been amazing to learn about the organization — especially how Unbound sponsorship helps children around the world get an education and covers basic needs. I’m so glad that my school placed me here because I have already learned a lot through my work.
At Unbound I work in two different, amazing departments — Sponsor Services and Communications.
In Sponsor Services, I scan children’s farewell letters, stuff envelopes, organize materials and help with the process when sponsored friends leave the program. Working in Sponsor Services is a really interesting job. I especially enjoy reading the farewell letters of sponsored friends retiring from the program because they’ve graduated high school or college — it motivates me and makes my own goals bigger.
In Communications, I scan old photographs and other materials for the archives and work with staff members to do more creative projects such as writing this blog post. Sorting through historical publications and photos has been exciting — I see through my day-to-day work that Unbound has been making history for 35 years.
After spending my sophomore year working here as a student intern, last spring I was very happy to be offered a summer position in Sponsor Services. I felt so special having the opportunity at the age of 16 to be able to continue my work with Unbound over the summer. Now, I’m back as a student intern for the second year.
Working at Unbound as a student has taught me so much. I’ve grown as a person, learned how a nonprofit organization works and gotten a taste of what it will be like to have a job as an adult. I’ve learned why it’s important to work with others and not just be independent. Every day that I come to Unbound, I’m happy because I know I will learn something.
I’ve also learned from the mission and work of Unbound. Learning about sponsored children and youth, I’ve realized that even though we live in different countries, have different cultures, goals or personalities, we are similar because we are human beings trying to do our best in life. I want to encourage others to support someone through sponsorship, and want you to know that your help makes a huge difference in someone’s life.
Unbound has already helped me achieve many of my goals and helped guide me in what I want to do after high school. I hope that while I work here I can keep learning, not only developing my skills in the workplace but also getting to know the mission of Unbound. I greatly appreciate being welcomed at Unbound and the opportunities that working here have provided.