Senior continues internship legacy at the Harland Foundation

Philosophy major Margaret Light ’20 is adding to her resume of nonprofit experience this semester with an internship at the John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Charitable Foundation.

The senior is among nearly a dozen Oglethorpe students who have interned at the Harland Foundation in the last decade.

Margaret Light pictured with a historic photo of the John H. Harland Company

Harland is an Atlanta charitable foundation that gives grants to nonprofits, with a focus on children and youth, community services, and arts and culture.

Light, who has interned at other nonprofits like the International Rescue Committee, pursued the opportunity through Career Development in Oglethorpe’s A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning).

As part of her internship, Light participates directly in meetings with nonprofit leaders and hears about the work of the nonprofits, their challenges and successes, and what they are looking to fund. Afterwards, she compiles reports summarizing the information shared at the meetings, and those reports are used by the foundation’s board members to consider whether the nonprofit will receive a grant.

Light’s Oglethorpe classes and on-campus experiences have given her the skills to succeed at the internship, she says.

“Oglethorpe has prepared me, in a real way, to care about the world around me. That is something the Core program has done. And if Core is taken seriously, every student will feel this way,” she said. “Core is about creating a student who is good and tries to do good in their world. It encourages you to think better and improve on things.”

According to Light, philosophy courses have also encouraged her to continue to think in an outward direction—allowing her to appreciate her place at Harland.

“I understand the Harland Foundation’s role and how my role as an intern, while it may be small and not as meaningful as I think, affects things in a broader sense. So, it has helped me to understand the importance of my job.”

The numerous Oglethorpe students who have interned at the Harland Foundation— like Anna Gandy ’18, who is pursuing her law degree at the University of Michigan, and Tirzah Brown ’14, now a Program Officer at CARE in Atlanta—have created an Oglethorpe legacy of sorts. Light hopes to add to that legacy.

“I hope that after I leave, I’ve done something good to show that the foundation is a great place to intern and Oglethorpe students are great employees. So, when you put those two things together, you get great things.”

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