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Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on February 18 at the 14th Annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. We are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.

These are their stories.

Zavion Herron is a junior at Riley High School. He completed an internship with the University of Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation.

Indiana INTERNnet: Congratulations on winning High School Intern of the Year at our 2020 IMPACT Awards! Now that your internship is over, what are you up to?

Zavion Herron: I am just getting through high school, juggling the many things that are in my life now. The new and expansive career brought from the internship, my after-school activities like Science Olympiad and the Riley High School game club I’m co-president of along with my friend Parker Dabney, etc.

IIN: Where are you currently at in your career with the University of Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation?

ZH: This is technically the fourth year I will be working with them, but the first time I’ve interned for them. The idea is to intern once more this upcoming summer and then fill in wherever I can. I love the cause and will do anything to help.

IIN: When will you graduate from Riley High School?

ZH: In 2021.

IIN: What are your plans after graduation?

ZH: After high school I am taking a year off – which a lot of my peers are afraid of doing – to truly relax and find myself. Hopefully during this year, I can independently build my name and meet with more fantastic role models.

IIN: What led you to intern with the University of Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation?

ZH: The honest cause of helping my beloved city, alongside my many teachers pushing me to go through with participating in the critical opportunity.

IIN: Walk us through some of your regular tasks while interning.

ZH: Regular activities in my case were a mix of field surveying, research and contacting various companies for aid. Being a part of the environmental data lab project, we did plenty of surveying of the Bowman Creek by Riley High School and the Studebaker Golf Course close by. The research was fairly simple with the aid of past documentation from previous projects. And contacting our laundry list of stakeholders and helpful mentors (took place) nearly daily. But after a while, our team as a whole thought of them as a part of our big family, making it easier.

IIN: What was your favorite part about working with Notre Dame?

ZH: The fact that I have met so many fantastic people during my time and especially working with them to make my community greater than it already is.

IIN: Tell us about a challenge you had to overcome during your internship.

ZH: A major wall we had to break through was communication issues. The fact that we had so many people to contact made it hard for the project to move forward, as we had to either wait for someone’s schedule to open or for a shipment to arrive, etc.

IIN: How has interning helped you in your personal/professional development?

ZH: Since the internship, I have really noticed a change in my mindset – one that is hard to explain. Overall, I feel like I’ve truly grown up and matured mentally. I’ve decided to push all boundaries and take every opportunity I can to make my life greater. I can only urge others to do the same. That’s how all of this started after all.

IIN: How has winning Intern of the Year impacted you?

ZH: You cannot believe the contacts and praise I have gotten after that day. I thought it was too much having ND [Notre Dame] professors shake my hand, let alone know my name without introduction. And now people from out of my hometown and from around the state would like to get in contact with me. I’m not a very emotional person, but on that day, I felt something change in me.

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