Interns at HHI learn skills, gain experience and give back

About our internship program

Heart to Heart International (HHI) started a paid internship program in the spring of 2023. This new program provides students a structured opportunity to learn new skills, gain work experience in their field of study, and receive exposure in a career field of their interest. Interns work alongside and receive mentorship from knowledgeable HHI staff in areas such as Marketing and Communications, Volunteer Management, and more. By hosting interns, the organization hopes to benefit from the skills, knowledge, and insight of pre-professionals, while gaining increased visibility for our mission and programs.  

It was important to us that this new program specifically be a paid opportunity for students. We recognize that internships can take a great deal of a student’s time and energy, and often unpaid internships are not accessible to students who may not be financially able to take time off for an internship experience. The organization sees great value in learning from today’s students and investing in those that will one day be leaders in our industry.  

If you or someone you know is interested in an internship opportunity with Heart to Heart International, please contact Gabby Martinez at  

Mica’s Story:

Some of my favorite Filipino traits and practices are centered around family and community. I grew up in a big family where we gathered and celebrated whenever there was a reason – birthdays, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and every other milestone. We also love to get involved in our community by giving and volunteering!

My journey with Heart to Heart International began in the Fall semester of 2022 when my cohorts and I from The University of Kansas – Integrated Marketing Communications Master’s program conducted research and created a strategic recommendations plan for the nonprofit organization. After completing the graduate program, I searched for professional growth and experience opportunities. Heart to Heart International opened its doors, welcoming the first two international students to their summer 2023 internship program, and I am grateful to be one of them.

During the three months of interning at Heart to Heart International, I have learned how much impact the organization makes locally, domestically, and globally. It warmed my heart to realize how they helped my fellow Filipinos ten years ago when Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda devastated my home country. 200,000 lbs. of relief supplies, including hygiene kits, first aid kits, and other pharmaceutical needs, were sent by working with FedEx and Direct Relief. (Relief Airlift for the Philippines – Heart to Heart International)

As a Marketing Communications Intern, it was an honor to contribute to the marketing team by creating social media content, including reels and other holiday posts, to help promote awareness of the nonprofit organization’s impact on those in need. Researching digital marketing trends in the industry helped me gain insights, deeper understanding, and recommendations to share with the team. 

I am glad I could participate in the publicity, planning and execution of Humanitarian Day, which is HHI’s annual community event. Beyond the experiences I have had within my team, I am also grateful for the additional learning and networking opportunities that extended beyond the organization. I could not have accomplished these without the support and guidance of my supervisor, the Marketing and Communications Director, Megan Neher, and everyone in the Resource Development Department. 

As the summer comes to a close, this internship has provided incredible learning and growth opportunities. Most importantly, I have enjoyed my stay at Heart to Heart International! I look forward to continuously advocating the nonprofit organization’s mission through social media and volunteer activities. 

– Mica Barros, International student, Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communications at The University of Kansas

Nisha’s Story: 

When I moved to Kansas to be closer to my family, I had no idea that fate had other plans for me. As a graduate international student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City majoring in Public Administration, I received an opportunity that would impact my life in unexpected ways. 

My journey turned around when I was selected as a summer intern for the Edward A. Smith Leadership Intern Program-Bloch School. Joining Heart to Heart International (HHI) as a Volunteerism Intern in the Volunteer Department, I found a profound connection with HHI’s mission, particularly as a native of Nepal—a country that had received crucial medical supplies from the organization during the devastating earthquake in 2015. 

Under the mentorship of my supervisor, Gabby, and Volunteerism Director, AnnMarie,  my internship expanded beyond the boundaries of my designated department. I had the privilege of participating in the “Armstrong Vision Fair,” a community health event, where I provided translation services and assisted with registration for Nepalese attendees, fueling my passion for leadership and volunteerism. One of the most unforgettable experiences was collaborating with Brian, the Vice President of Hygiene Programming, at the Kansas City Zoo during the offsite Hygiene Kit Build Event which gave me great insights into the internal operation of the organization and the essence of teamwork. 

HHI assigned me various responsibilities that polished my data management skills. From volunteer database updates to DRT (Disaster Response Team) Roster Cleanup and sign-up genius software familiarization, I have both personal and professional development. I attended an Internship Professional Development – Career Day on the recommendation of Kim Carroll, the CEO of HHI, where I learned from experienced professionals and boosted my career. 

My internship experience supplemented my academic studies in a leadership class I am taking at the same time, allowing me to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world settings. HHI provided me with practical insights into leadership, cooperation and the influence of nonprofit organizations by exposing me to a diverse range of activities, events and collaborative efforts. 

As my graduation in 2023 approaches, I look back with immense gratitude for the opportunities and knowledge that HHI has bestowed upon me. This enriching experience not only shaped my academic journey but also deepened my commitment to making a positive difference in the field of public service. Heart to Heart International will forever hold a special place in my heart, as it has given me the wings to fly and the belief that together we can create a better world. 

– Nisha Adhikari, International student, Master of Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City