Mount Saint Mary College’s internship fund recently received an early Christmas gift of $5,000, thanks to the generosity of Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan.
The gift was facilitated by Michael Horodyski, president and CEO of Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan, and board chair at the Mount.
Established last spring by the college’s Office of Advancement and the Career Center, the fund provides stipends for internship positions that are unpaid or do not pay enough for students to cover related expenses.
For the next year, the fund will be known as the Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan Internship Fund, in honor of the generous donation.
“Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan is proud to be supporting this internship fund,” said Horodyski. “By increasing the internship options available to bright and deserving Mount students, we are allowing them to take more control of their future successes. We are also helping to create a more talented, dedicated, and diverse workforce for employers here in the Hudson Valley and beyond.”
With thousands of successful alumni as proof, Mount Saint Mary College knows that internships launch careers: they offer students the opportunity to gain work experience, build a network of connections, find mentors, and stand out when searching for a job.
But occasionally, qualified students might not get these opportunities, explained Ellen Bourhis Nolan, director of the Mount’s Career Center.
“Sometimes our students can’t always do an internship, not because they lack the ability to succeed, but because they can’t pay for transportation, or gas, or other things we might take for granted,” said Nolan. “Remember, many internships are unpaid.”
Students apply to the Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan Internship Fund by submitting applications, and later, they write essays detailing how the internship experience helped them to learn and grow. From the first set of applications, two students were selected to be recipients of the fund: Lauryn Knight, a Human Services major, and Victoria Veloz-Vicioso, a Business Management and Administration major.
Knight recently completed an internship at Saint Dominic’s Family Services in the Bronx, a nonprofit human services agency providing foster care, community-based mental health, therapeutic education, and preschool services. Her internship included administrative duties and acting as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Provider (PSR) for three clients.
“I am extremely grateful for this internship experience shedding more light on the knowledge I need to pursue my career,” said Knight. She added that she was able “to build relationships with my clients…and help them move towards their goals.”
Over the summer, Veloz-Vicioso completed an internship remotely at SCG Advertising and Public Relations Firm in Morris County, N.J. Despite working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she benefited greatly from the experience by learning new programs, writing press releases, and delving into text-based social media content.
“This opportunity provided me an insight into the public relations and communications industry,” Veloz-Vicioso explained. “I learned how to adapt and be flexible with change…While completing my internship responsibilities, I was able to master new skills, such as creating and scheduling content calendars.”
Many Mount alumni credit their internships with helping to mold them into the passionate and dedicated professionals they are today. With this in mind, the Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan Internship Fund will be there to help Mount students succeed.
“We’re really happy to have this opportunity,” said Nolan about the fund. “Nikki [Khurana-Baugh, Vice President for Advancement] and the Office of Advancement really stepped up to the plate to help us make this a reality. I’m so glad we’re able to help our students in this way.”