Grant Research & Community Outreach

Audrey headshot
Audrey Fitzgerald
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Audrey Fitzgerald landed a unique role at Family Housing Resources to develop her research skills and use her creativity to engage with the Tucson community.

How did you find this internship and why did you choose it?

Last semester, I was searching for remote internships on Handshake for the upcoming semester and came across the Grant Researcher intern position at Family Housing Resources. It was a remote internship and required 10 hours of work each week, which was perfect for my busy schedule. I did extensive research on the organization and was inspired by the organization’s mission to help the community reach financial freedom through housing support, education, and partnership. I wanted to join this organization and contribute to their goals, while also gaining new skills in grant research and writing.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

While interviewing for the position, I expressed interest in community outreach as well as grant research. My supervisor at Family Housing Resources was very flexible and created a combined position for me that combined a Grant Research role with a Community Outreach role. For the grant portion of my work, I was tasked with researching new and interesting grants, sharing my findings with my team, and writing draft letters of intent to apply for the grants. For my community outreach work, my work included reaching out to clients through email, creating flyers to share on social media, and publishing our flyers on local publications. From having this unique role, I realized that I preferred my outreach work, but I enjoyed completing both and learned so much from each position.

What new knowledge and skills did you develop in this internship?

I gained knowledge and skills in both areas of my work. While researching grants, I learned advanced knowledge about the purpose and value of grants. I practiced researching new grants and deciding if these grants align with our organization, then drafted Letters of Intent that would be used to apply to some of the grants I found. For my community outreach work, I was tasked with emailing hundreds of clients at a time to spread the news about our upcoming events. I also learned how to publish events on local publications such as news stations, radio stations, and the publication Tucson Weekly. Finally, I was able to apply my creative skills to create flyers for our AZ Gives Day campaigns. I gained an incredibly diverse range of knowledge and skills across many areas that I can utilize in the future.

How was the internship related to your Applied Humanities degree?

Family Housing Resources in a non-profit organization with the mission is to support the community reach financial freedom through housing support, partnership, and education. This resonated with my background in humanities and influenced me to join the organization and support their mission. I was able to contribute to FHR’s Racial Equity Initiative by drafting letters of intent and creating campaigns on social media to raise money. I was able to apply the concepts from my humanities education to give back to the community of Tucson.

What did you find challenging about your internship? 

I found Grant Research to be the most challenging part. When I started the internship, I had no idea how to research a grant or even know what to look for. I was confused and started to feel like I was not cut out for this type of work. My supervisor and colleagues on the grant team showed me how to find new grants and I learned to identify which types of grants I was looking for. Eventually I noticed the progress I made in overcoming this challenge because it became easier each week and by the end of the internship I felt confident in my research skills.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part of my internship was contributing to our Racial Equity Initiative. Our initiative is aimed at cultivating Black and minority homeownership in Tucson. I was tasked with making our campaign for AZ gives day, which focused on raising money for our Racial Equity Initiative. I was proud to make content for this initiative and help spread the word about the work we are doing. I also wrote Letters of Intent that focused on the initiative and explained why we should

receive funding for our initiative, and the partnerships we can create with each foundation. I was proud of my contributions to this initiative and inspired by what we could accomplish with our efforts.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?

My advice is to approach applying to internships with an open mind and flexibility. There are so many different types of internships out in the world that can surprise you with the types of opportunities they offer. While having a plan is great, it’s ok if you have no idea what you want to do for an internship. Don’t hesitate to search out of your comfort zone and apply to internships that interest you