Internship Series: Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation

new york
United States

            This past year, I had the opportunity to volunteer as a Channel Kindness Reporter for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation’s new Channel Kindness Initiative. The initiative, which launched in March 2017, was established to provide a storytelling platform for young people ages 16 to 24. In a world of never-ending devastating news, the program seeks to shed light on acts of kindness that tend to fly under the radar.

            I was a reporter from February to December 2017. I worked alongside 49 other reporters, hailing from all corners of the nation. After meeting for a convening back in February, where we all became acquainted with one another and learned the rules of the road, we went to work. Over the course of my time as a reporter, I developed four different pieces: an interview with one of my best friends who helps plan the Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children’s Health of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s annual Hospital Prom, a recorded interview with the Associate Director of Pace University’s LGBTQA & Social Justice Center, a recorded interview with the founders of Sound Board NYC, and a reflection on a Born This Way Foundation Luncheon held this past August.

           While the program allowed me to establish an online portfolio of interviews and videos, shedding light on kind acts taking place within my community, the aspect I enjoyed most throughout the experience was the people. In addition to the 49 reporters I worked alongside remotely, the work I was performing allowed me to meet so many people in my community I otherwise would have never been in contact with. I was able to grow my network at Pace by interviewing the Associate Director of the LGBTQA & Social Justice Center, in addition to meeting the two international students who founded Sound Board NYC, here in New York. I also had advisors who championed my ideas every step of the way, making for a very enjoyable 10 months.

            Although my time as a reporter has come to an end, a new class of reporters has been selected and they will be the new residents of this great storytelling platform for the year to come. If you have any interest in writing, communication, or journalism, I highly recommend seeking programs such as Channel Kindness, in order to advance your own knowledge of the field and meet some pretty great people along the way!