HOK Summer Interns Ali (left) & Cindy (right) take a moment to enjoy the view from the ridge above the Hakipu'u Stream Restoration Project.
For the past month, Hui o Koʻolaupoko has happily played host to two visiting interns. Cindy Gamboa, raised in Seattle, Washington, recently graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor's in Public Relations and minor in Advertising. Our second intern, Ali Gorman, was born and raised in Chesterfield, Missouri; only 40 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Ali currently attends Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin where she is studying Environmental Science and Chemistry.
Ali has focused mostly on fieldwork, joining HOKʻs Community Coordinator Kristen Mailheau to get rid of invasive species, propagate native plants, and maintain current HOK stream restoration and rain garden project sites. "I have learned so much during this internship. This has been a great experience and definitely one of a kind. Being here in Hawaii makes every day great; it's a wonderful state and this has been a great opportunity for me. I've gained a better understanding on how a non-profit environmental organization works," Gorman said.
Cindy has focused on managing Hui o Koʻolaupokoʻs social media and has worked towards improving their website; some of these tasks include testimonials, pictures, videos and writing press releases. Cindy has also joined her fellow intern in the field getting her hands dirty while learning a different side of the organization. "It has been quite the experience working in the field and I am glad that I had the opportunity to help HOK inside and outside the office!" Gamboa said.
Central Washington University and Carthage College both offer study abroad programs through CISAbroad, whose role is to match students based on their educational background to an organization or business in the same field. Cindy and Ali say they have always dreamed of living in Hawaiʻi and this internship provided an opportunity to test the waters living out of their home states for six weeks without having to make a huge commitment.
"We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to intern for an organization that focuses on the restoration of natural resources along with on-the-ground and educational projects where volunteers play a big role and help with the success of the organization. Weʻve also really enjoyed exploring the island and trying new things" the girls added.
Hui o Koʻolaupoko is so grateful to have had these two ladies with us for the month. They have lent a great hand with many of our projects and we hope they enjoyed their time in Hawaii and that their experiences with HOK will help them in their future careers.
Mahalo nui loa ladies!