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Mayor’s interns gain hands-on experience at VolunteerNow

Taylor Willis and Chloe Lacking-Quinn, Dallas area high school students, will start this school year with a new-found knowledge and appreciation for volunteerism.

The pair interned with VolunteerNow for eight weeks through the City of Dallas Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. Willis and Lacking-Quinn shadowed VolunteerNow’s community engagement team and learned how volunteers support nonprofits, as well as strategies for volunteer recruitment.

“I’ve learned volunteering helps change the community, and it makes you feel good,” Willis said.

Willis and Lacking-Quinn both worked on community-mapping projects. The two took a deep dive into their zip codes, researching reliable resources and finding nonprofits that serve their communities.

In addition, the pair designed their own service projects. Lacking-Quinn focused on disaster preparedness, while Willis zeroed in on helping refugees transition into affordable housing.

Willis and Lacking-Quinn also hosted a pop-up volunteer event in VolunteerNow’s Donated Goods Discount Depot, educating shoppers about service and creating greeting cards for the Salvation Army.

“It’s fulfilling knowing you’re helping someone else besides yourself,” Lacking-Quinn said.

Lacking-Quinn, a senior at Kimball High School, said she hopes to give back to children and animals in need. Willis, a junior at W.W Samuell High School and Early College, has already made plans to volunteer with Texas Discovery Gardens.