erin wagner tri 4 schools

My Internship Experience: Erin

We’ll miss Erin, one of our fabulous summer interns!  Hear what she had to say about working with us, and what she’ll miss most.

As summer comes to a close and my internship with Tri 4 Schools nears its end, I wanted to express gratitude for the lessons I learned, and appreciation for the people I met along the way. From the first time I volunteered at a Tri 4 Schools’ event last summer, I knew that this organization was on its way towards impactful change in Madison and I wanted to play a role in its growth. I believe in their mission to end childhood obesity, and I support their advocacy for proper nutrition and physical education programming. Schools around the state have underfunded physical education programming, and that can have detrimental side effects down the road. Tri 4 Schools saw this problem and decided to take action. Thanks to their events and races, Tri 4 Schools has donated thousands to local schools to improve physical education curricula and equipment. Tri 4 Schools has touched the lives of thousands of students and their families, and I am truly thankful to have been a small contributor to their mission.

The Highlights

Over the past four months, I was able to work behind the scenes on many administrative projects, fundraising initiatives, and social media campaigns. Through my internship, I networked with local businesses and talked to corporate leaders, which I believe improved my interpersonal communication skills. I took on projects that challenged me; ones that encouraged me to think in creative and innovative ways. I expressed my creativity by documenting the Sun Prairie triathlon, the Middleton triathlon, and the Golf Classic on our social media accounts. I created new forms and race day maps, organized administrative paperwork, and cataloged registration documents, which might not sound like the most exciting tasks, but are still important duties that will prepare me for administrative work in the future. I worked side-by-side with countless volunteers who have a strong passion for this organization and we were able to come together to assemble race day packets, registration materials, and run all of our summer events in a safe and controlled manner.

 

New Friendships…

I also had the chance to work alongside another intern! Devin and I split up the work on many of our projects and we were able to bounce ideas off each other. I had a blast working with Devin this summer and I know we both enjoyed documenting the triathlon festivities through social media! We worked hard on our projects and the payoff at the end made the work worthwhile. We witness both summer triathlons reach participant capacity, the Golf Classic raise over $16,000, the expansion of Exercise to Achievement, and the addition of new sponsorships and grants. The organization’s development was incredible to see over these last four months and I’m grateful to have contributed to a small piece of that growth. Despite the official end to my internship I know that I will continue to lend my support at Tri 4 Schools’ events in the future!

…And New Community Connections

In addition to my projects, I stepped outside my internship duties on Monday afternoons to volunteer at the Bayview Center through their Exercise to Achievement program. It was rewarding to see the kids engage in the activities and improve their fitness throughout the summer. They capped off 8 weeks of hard work at the Middleton triathlon and I am so proud of their accomplishments! Many were hesitant about racing for the first time, but they stepped up and tackled the challenges of race day like the champions they are.

 

Attitude of Gratitude

I cannot begin to thank Tri 4 Schools enough for making me feel like a member of their family. As an out-of-state student, it is often hard to feel truly at home in a place outside your own. Tri 4 Schools has made me feel like I’m a contributing member to this community and its improvement.

Thank you to Katie, Katie, and Melissa for leading this thriving organization and welcoming me this summer. Thank you to Devin for being a rock star co-intern, for your endless enthusiasm, and for your go-getting personality. Thank you to all of the volunteers for bringing these events together and allowing for their success. Lastly, thank you to the kids, parents, and supporters of Tri 4 Schools; your enthusiasm and passion for living healthy and active lifestyles has not gone unnoticed. You are a positive source of change in this community!

I believe that Tri 4 Schools will continue to inspire children and families alike to live life to the fullest: healthy, happy, and energized to tackle any challenge they see before them.

Erin – you were such a fantastic addition to our team!  On behalf of our staff, Board, and all our families, THANK YOU for being a part of our mission.  You’ll always be a member of our family!