By Michelle Xiarhos Curran
This summer, ECCF welcomed three incredible interns to our team. Over the course of eight weeks, Genesis Galdamez, Nahdyn Reyes and Mateo Rosario provided critical administrative support and contributed to community leadership initiatives that are making a difference in the lives of Essex County residents.
These three young people gained valuable, hands-on work experience while learning about the inner workings of a community foundation and gaining first-hand knowledge of some of the challenges and opportunities that exist in our communities.
At ECCF, we couldn’t be more proud of what they have accomplished during their time here.
“I suspect that we’ll be hearing a lot more about the great things that Genesis, Nahdyn and Mateo set out to do in their futures,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “We thank them for their hard work and wish them the best of luck.”
Hometown: Lawrence, MA
Pingree School, June 2021
Mount Holyoke College, Expected May 2025
ECCF Internship Focus: ECCF’s Advancing Digital Equity Initiative
Over the course of her internship, Genesis Galdamez, from Lawrence, MA, grew increasingly passionate about her work with TEK Collaborative, a nonprofit started by Amesbury resident Jeffrey Williams and incubated at ECCF. TEK Collaborative collects, refurbishes and distributes laptop computers to people who need them, and is supporting ECCF’s goal of distributing 5,000 devices to Essex County residents through our Advancing Digital Equity Initiative.
Genesis supported these joint efforts by managing TEK Collaborative’s distribution system, documenting its workflow, translating this documentation into Spanish and assisting with website content and design. She also worked twice a week refurbishing donated laptops at Tek Collaborative’s Amesbury office and warehouse. She learned to refurbish her own machine too.
“Genesis worked hard to really leverage all the opportunities she could during her time at ECCF,” said Kate Machet, ECCF’s director of strategic initiatives and community leadership. “She was an incredible asset to our digital equity work and always willing to help out in whatever way she could.”
In addition to her work with TEK Collaborative, Genesis captured the impact of ECCF’s collaborative digital literacy training programs by conducting interviews with participants and attending a part of the training herself. She also translated marketing materials and documentation into Spanish for other ECCF departments.
“I learned so many valuable things from ECCF,” she said.
Genesis said she gained valuable organizational skills, learned how to be a better website designer and, most importantly, how to adapt to different work environments.
“I worked remotely, and sometimes in person,” she said. “I worked with ECCF, a foundation with a long history and with a lot of connections, but I also worked with TEK Collaborative, which is still such a young organization yet has so much potential to grow thanks to their incredible goal of ending digital inequity in our community.”
Genesis came to ECCF through the Prep@Work college internship program for graduates of Prep@Pingree, Pingree School’s nationally recognized, 12-month academic enrichment and secondary school scholarship program for middle school students from Lawrence, Lynn and other communities. This fall, she started her sophomore year at Mount Holyoke College, where she will likely major in Computer Science.
“For now, AI, website designing and cybersecurity are specializations that have caught my attention, but I still need to take more classes to know what I truly want,” she said.
In addition to work in the food services industry, Genesis’ experience includes math and ESL tutoring for adults and children. An engaged member of the community, she has also participated in Model UN, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and various theater productions.
Hometown: Lawrence, MA
Pingree School, June 2019
Trinity College, Expected May 2023
ECCF Internship Focus: Creative County Initiative
In the summer of 2022, ECCF was gearing up to celebrate five years of the Creative County Initiative (CCI) by planning for the 2022 Essex County Arts & Culture Summit. At the same time, CCI grantee projects were in full swing all over the region.
CCI Intern Nahdyn Reyes stepped right into the bustle with enthusiasm, drive and confidence.
“Her self-assured nature, deep community-mindedness, and love of the arts made Nahdyn a terrific addition to our CCI team this summer,” said Karen Ristuben, program director for Creative County.
Nahdyn, who hails from Lawrence, MA, supported the CCI grants program by conducting Special Project grantee interviews, learning about the impact that these projects had on their communities. In addition, she provided graphic design support for specialized marketing campaigns, outreach to community stakeholders and, as a native Spanish speaker, translation services to support ECCF’s efforts to expand access to information about Creative County and its work across the region.
This fall, Nahdyn entered her senior year at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where she is a double major in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Sociology. She serves as current vice president of the Trinity’s Black Women’s Organization and was also a mentor in the Sisters in Power Mentorship Program.
Like Genesis, Nahdyn came to ECCF through the Prep@Work program. Her summer ECCF internship adds to her already extensive resume, which includes experience in the administrative and food services industries and three years of experience as a student instructor in the Prep@Pringree Summer Program and Winter Academy.
Hometown: Revere, MA
Revere High School, June 2022
North Shore Community College, Expected May 2026
ECCF Internships Focus: Finance Department Support
Mateo Rosario, a 2022 Revere High School graduate, has a tremendous amount of experience working with and motivating youth.
From 2019-2020, he was a counselor in training with the MGH Youth Program, where he was trained how to effectively communicate with young people and plan organized activities. In the summer of 2021, he was employed by the City of Revere Parks and Recreation Department, coordinating activities and games for the city’s young people.
This year, Mateo decided he wanted to experience what it was like to work in an office, and ECCF was fortunate to welcome him as an intern for the summer of 2022.
Mateo worked onsite in the Finance Department, processing gift receipts, creating donor profiles and providing financial analysis.
“Mateo was just a really nice presence in the office,” said Brit Hutchins, ECCF’s CFO. “He was professional, good humored and engaged. Over the course of his internship, his analytical and Excel skills really increased, and he gave the finance team a huge boost this summer.”
Previously, Mateo also interned with Revere Public Schools, at the A.C. Whelan School, where he was a teacher’s assistant for grades 3-5, providing translation services and tutoring for ELL/ESL students and acting as a liaison between teachers and students. His experience also includes volunteer and community service work, including with Hope Worldwide, an anti-poverty organization.
“ECCF exposed me to a professional business setting and the financial management of nonprofit organizations,” said Mateo about his work at the foundation. “The internship also helped sharpen my Microsoft office skills.”
This fall, Mateo entered his freshman year at North Shore Community College, where he plans to study business.
PHOTO CAPTION: Nahdyn Reyes (left) was a 2022 summer intern with ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, led by CCI Program Director Karen Ristuben (right).