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Katie McGinnis is an incoming senior at Indiana University Bloomington graduating in May of 2019. She is majoring in Media Advertising with a minor in Marketing. Katie is currently working at Helmer Scientific as a Marketing Communications Intern for her second summer with the company. 

On Saturday, July 28th, I joined other interns and Helmer Scientific team members to volunteer with the Indianapolis Intercollegiate YMCA volunteers and staff to transform the Laurelwood Community in Indianapolis. The Intercollegiate YMCA works with four universities to provide experiences that enhance students overall. They especially focus on leadership development programs for the students they work with.

The Laurelwood Community in Indianapolis consists of around 160 units in a low-income neighborhood. Before the Indianapolis Intercollegiate YMCA began their efforts in the community, Laurelwood had been long considered one of the roughest communities in Indianapolis. After ten years of partnering with the YMCA, the community has been praised as a national model for how it has completely transformed.

Before the Indianapolis Intercollegiate YMCA’s efforts, the children in the Laurelwood Community were especially impacted by the hardships the community faced. The community children were constantly getting in trouble and were without a safe place to play. It was hard for these children to just be kids with the adversities they were facing, but the YMCA has created a program to help improve the lives of these children and for them to have a time that they can look forward to when they leave school every day.


Now, with the Laurelwood Community Program in place, 30 to 50 children are impacted daily. They are provided with food, homework help and fun activities, all in a safe place. The program works with the children Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. In addition to the services provided, the program connects the children to college students, allowing them to have role models to shape their futures for years to come.

Upon starting my internship with Helmer Scientific in May of 2017, it quickly became clear to me just how important volunteering in ways such as this is to my fellow team members. Helmer’s generosity initiative is strong in the local community, but also extends to impacting others internationally. I was enthusiastic to learn that as an intern I would have the opportunity to join such a large, and inspiring mission to serve others.

It was a humbling experience to take part in Helmer Scientific’s generosity initiative with other interns and to see our impact in a community that needed our help. Knowing that children’s futures improved by the efforts we made as volunteers that would allow them to stay out of trouble felt rewarding. I am fortunate to be an intern at a company that places such an importance on experiences such as this.

Click here to learn more about Helmer Scientific’s generosity initiatives.

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Indiana INTERNnet is the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana's top talent.
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