Helping Others on a Large Scale

PROVO, Utah – Jul 07, 2020 – Graduating from college often means the beginning of a new journey for students. Gone are textbooks and class schedules, replaced by commutes and paychecks. For Jennica Collette, her career in social impact is taking off as she begins her internship at Latter-day Saint Charities. Collette, who recently graduated from BYU in political science, is one of four scholars from the Ballard Center for Social Impact who were accepted into highly competitive and sought-after internships at Latter-day Saint Charities this summer.

Collette, a native of Bedford, New Hampshire, is joined by Gretel Tam, a dietetics graduate from Hong Kong, and sociology graduates Molly Mackenzie of Oceano, California, and Courtney Scott who currently lives in Provo. The four were chosen from more than three hundred applicants for their new positions. The internships with Latter-day Saint Charities are one-year, full-time, paid positions where the graduates will put their education to use in helping the nonprofit analyze and adjust practices for more effectiveness and efficiency.

“Being part of social impact work on such a large scale by working for a whole year with an active, worldwide humanitarian organization is a thrilling prospect for me,” says Mackenzie. “I started working remotely after graduation, and have felt uplifted by the optimism and can-do attitude of my supervisors and teammates.”

Latter-day Saint Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The nonprofit branch works around the globe through four main initiatives focused on water and food security, disabilities services, vision care, and maternal and newborn care. The interns will each be assigned to one of these departments and will help improve their current programs through an evaluation process called MEAL.

“MEAL stands for monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning,” says Paul Moody, a director at Latter-day Saint Charities. “The interns will help by performing program analysis, providing support for technical specialists, interacting with Latter-day Saint Charities partners, and evaluating project proposals.”

The Ballard Center for Social Impact at the BYU Marriott School of Business focuses on helping students develop the necessary social impact analysis skills required by nonprofits and be better prepared to assist organizations in the social impact field. Students learn how nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations are structured and function, about the history of many social issues, and how to find solutions for systematic problems. Ballard scholars also receive hands-on experience by participating in competitions and interning directly with nonprofits

Julie Ramos, who graduated in 2009 with a degree in public relations from BYU and an MPA from BYU Marriott in 2011, now manages the clean water and food security programs at Latter-day Saint Charities and will be working directly with the interns. While in BYU Marriott’s MPA program, Ramos also participated as a Ballard Center scholar. Ramos is grateful for the experience she had with the Ballard Center and expressed confidence in the new interns.

“When I was a student, the Ballard Center helped expand my vision for what I could do in my life and provided rich resources for me,” says Ramos. “These new interns are ahead of the curve because of their training at the Ballard Center. They’re professional and are educated on issues in social impact and international development. Their experience with and learning from those at the Ballard Center has prepared them to be successful in the social impact field.”

The mission of the Ballard Center for Social Impact can be summarized in just a few, meaningful words—Do Good. Better. This hope to increase good in the world is the backbone of the Ballard Center and has helped the new interns feel optimistic and excited about the opportunity to make a difference. “The biggest lesson I learned at the Ballard Center is that everyone can be a change-maker,” says Tam. “The world can become a better place if we all work on generating positive impact together.”

Photo of Jennica Collette. Photo courtesy of Jennica Collette.
Jennica Collette. Photo courtesy of Jennica Collette.
Gretel Tam. Photo courtesy of Gretel Tam.
Gretel Tam. Photo courtesy of Gretel Tam.
Molly Mackenzie. Photo courtesy of Molly Mackenzie.
Molly Mackenzie. Photo courtesy of Molly Mackenzie.
Photo of Courtney Scott. Photo courtesy of Courtney Scott.
Courtney Scott. Photo courtesy of Courtney Scott.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Erin Kratzer