Internship Spotlight: Michelle Wright’s Array of Experiences with Salesian Missions

By Michelle Wright

As a Salesian Fellow, I have the opportunity to work with the wonderful team at Salesian Missions Office for International Programs (SMOIP) in New Rochelle. The Salesians’ mission is to help young people break the dire chains of poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. The Salesians work with vulnerable communities in more than 130 countries and are one of the leading providers of technical and vocational training around the world. SMOIP supports the work of Salesians around the world by coordinating donations, grants, and other sources of funding, particularly from the US government and American philanthropic foundations.

The SMOIP team is small but devoted and I’ve been privileged to work with them, though all my work has been remote to date. Most of my time is spent researching grant opportunities for programs the Salesians want to run in the field, writing grant proposals, communicating with the field offices about their needs and project proposals, and copyediting proposals and progress reports for open grants. I’ve also been developing my analytical skills, attempting to analyze the impact of the Salesian Mission’s COVID relief projects.

Though my internship this year looks different than in previous years, I’ve learned so much since September. I have learned about how NGOs fund their projects, and how to identify and assess potential funding opportunities. I’ve also started to understand the challenges associated with coordinating projects from around the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Salesian Missions and I am hopeful I will get to meet my coworkers in person soon.