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Voices of the Internship - Hitting the Right Note at Penrose House

Tags: Penrose House Internship Program El Pomar Foundation

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2018 Intern Nathanael Nims

A little less than a year before I began my internship, I visited Penrose House for the first time as a student piano performer for the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Little did I know at the time that I would soon have the opportunity to work in the house itself and be inspired by its diverse visitors. My experience at the Conservatory, an El Pomar grant recipient and active member of the arts scene in Colorado Springs, has primarily included performing at events, fundraising, and volunteer outreach programs. I have also had the privilege of supporting a program called A Positive Note which is designed to empower special needs youth through the exploration of music. Working with these children enlightened my understanding of my role in society and helped me realize that helping people is more fulfilling than almost anything else. 

Returning to Penrose House as a summer intern last year, I began to realize how helping others can present itself in so many different ways. Penrose House, the former residence of the legendary Spencer and Julie Penrose, now supports numerous nonprofits by serving as a conference center free for use by nonprofits, government agencies, and military organizations. Working on behalf of the Foundation with organizations similar to the Conservatory was truly eye-opening. From seeing visitors smile as I gave tours of the historic property to playing the antique organ and enjoying its reverberations through the house walls to assisting numerous guests with their conference and meeting needs, I found a sense of purpose and belonging each day. This different perspective of the nonprofit world was an invaluable experience as both a professional and a person. 

The internship offered me many venues for self-improvement that included experience in the hospitality industry, exposure to a formal office setting, and various professional development opportunities. The summer helped me grow in my understanding of how important it is to be invested in your local community and how true it is that everybody can make a difference.