Inside the Internship: Torbett Works with Tennessee First Lady to Bring Hope to Those in Need

| Student Life

Written by: Natalie Torbett

Lee left, Torbett rightIn January, I had the pleasure of being invited to the governor’s Inauguration Ceremony and Inaugural Ball. My sister and brother-in-law work for the governor and had tickets for my parents. Fortunately for me, they could not go, so I was their substitute. While at the ball, I met Maria Lee’s chief of staff, who mentioned that they were looking for summer interns and that I should submit my resume. As I prayed about what I should do over the summer, I was consistently pulled back to this potential opportunity. Eventually, I sent in my resume, received an interview and later was notified that I had been selected for a position!

My role in the internship changed from day to day depending on what was on the schedule for that week. Some days I was setting up and organizing service projects. On other days I had individual projects to work on such as archiving, searching for nonprofits to partner with, etc. The internship was unique in the way it allowed me to receive such a wide variety of experiences. I do think my time at Trevecca had prepared me for it, especially through athletics. The staff was very impressed with my ability to manage my time and multitask efficiently, which are skills I’ve had to learn in order to be a good student and a good athlete and to also have a social life. Trevecca not only helped me add those skills, but showed me how they can be used to glorify God.

My favorite part of this internship is how servant-hearted and Christ-centered the work is. Everyone who works there has a heart for God and a heart for people. The desire to serve and spread the gospel is extremely evident. The First Lady has an initiative that focuses on helping those in the community serve others. Throughout the summer, she offers a Kids Serve Summer Challenge that encourages 5–12-year olds to volunteer in their communities.

Her initiative also focuses on helping different groups of people each month. When I started my internship in June, the focus was on health. My goal has always been to work with children with cancer, so this was my favorite event I helped with. Some other projects involved visiting and donating food and games to the Hope Lodge, visiting and donating supplies to Harvest Hands, delivering food to police departments, hosting a field trip for children in foster care and more. Every project was done with the intentionality to give back and spread hope.

This experience has reassured me that I want to serve others. I would like to serve children and families who are undergoing cancer treatments. I believe there is a need for hope, love and prayer and I would love to have the opportunity to provide that for those kids and families. They deserve to feel hope and to know that they are surrounded by love and support. I want to help these families have some of the experiences that this disease can often steal from them. The least I can do is try and give them that.

The most challenging part of this internship was probably saying goodbye. As I previously mentioned, the staff is amazing! I know it’s rare to find a place of work where you are excited to go solely because the people are that great. I don’t think I had ever really processed that I could have a job and be surrounded by people that would help me grow in my faith at the same time. It truly was a special place, with special people, doing Kingdom work.