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Volunteer Spotlight: Project Sunshine Interns

The Project Sunshine Health and Creative Arts summer internship in New York City is an opportunity for college students to gain hands–on experience in the non–profit sector. Interns also build their professional development skills along with the opportunity to work with children and families facing medical challenges.

Project Sunshine's 2016 summer interns, Jamie Schulman, Jamie Sunkin, and Lydia van der Swaagh, come from three different areas of New York and different universities with different college majors. However, they all had one thing in common: a love for working with children. All three interns were immediately interested in Project Sunshine and were thrilled to dedicate their summer to this internship. They worked throughout the summer around the New York City area to spread sunshine to children facing medical challenges and their families. The interns cumulatively organized and led over 15 programs bringing sunshine to numerous children and their families.

The three interns were responsible for organizing and executing a variety of programs, including Book Club, Caregiver Wellness, Arts and Crafts, Star for a Day, Sunshine Chefs, and so much more! They also attended several Corporate Party Time events where they helped out with setting up and with making sure that all went smoothly during the event.

The summer interns truly made an impact in the lives of many children and families facing medical challenges in just one summer.

"My time at Project Sunshine has been unforgettable, and I will truly miss coming in every day and working with all the amazing staff," says Lydia. "It's really hard to choose a single favorite moment from my time here, but I think I would have to say it's when I went to Harlem Hospital and played jazz melodies at the bedside of patients. The little boy asked to hear my favorite melody a second time, and while I was playing it, I looked over and saw him tapping his foot gently. It was such a simple yet powerful moment of connection, and I truly felt that I had somehow, even on a small scale, made a difference."

"Working here has been not only a rewarding experience, but a meaningful one as well," says Jamie Sunkin. "I've made powerful connections while creating strong relationships with my co–workers which I hope to maintain past our friendly work environment. Each day when the job is done the spotlight goes to the children in need that we may have helped that day, and maybe it was just by sending a sunny gram. Either way, it's so nice to feel that you were able to help a child feel a sense of happiness even if it was only for a split second, to see a smile across their face. I've truly enjoyed my time at Project Sunshine and appreciate the experience of working here this summer."

More Volunteer Stories of Interest

Sports Illustrated model, Damaris Lewis, volunteered for her second year as a Project Sunshine Dance Camp instructor to empower young women through dance.
Emilio Delgado, who has played Luis on Sesame Street for 40 years, brought sunshine to pediatric patients at Mount Sinai´s KidZone as part of Project Sunshine´s Book Club

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