Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Personal Statement

The screen filled with a beautiful picture of houses painted in vivid shades of turquoise and rolling hills tinted orange from the exposed dirt and in the cent a little girl radiating happiness.  It was my first day at my internship with Walkabout Foundation and my supervisor was showing me a video about what the organization did.  The apartment turned office space was dark and gloomy thanks to the overcast weather typical of London winters.  The smell of stale cigarette smoke from the man who always smoked in the hall was creeping its way to me seat, but I could not take my eyes off of this girl. 
She was seated in a brand new jet black wheelchair made from spare bike parts.  Her dark skin was tinted orange from the dust in the air, her legs hung limply off the side of the chair and her mouth was stretched from ear to ear in a big beautiful smile.  She had never known the freedom of mobility, and was forced to rely on others to be her legs, which meant that more times than not she was left behind. The look on her face didn’t just show the happiness of a young girl getting a new toy for the first time, it expressed the freedom to live a more normal and uninhibited life.
Growing up my friends and I would spend one week each summer on a mission trip, often working with an organization that provided a service to people living in poverty.  We would spend long days out in the beating hot sun building houses or handing out clothes to homeless people. 
All of my friends came from families like mine and every Sunday after church we would all go out to eat and catch up.  There has always been stability in my life and in the lives of people around me.  More than stability there has been excess.  We always had new clothes and shoes to wear to school at the start of the year, if we needed new cleats for soccer we would get them and we were able to travel with our families.
 While on the mission trips though, I was able to see the juxtaposition to my life and the lives of the people we encountered.  I saw first-hand the struggle that some people have to go through just to have the basic.  I met veterans who were affected with PTSD and as a result became addicted to alcohol or drugs, and immigrants who had come to the United States to find a better life for them and their family.  I saw another side of life that I was not exposed to in the small world that I lived in.  

Looking at the picture of the little girl in the wheelchair I remembered those mission trips, and what they had meant to me in high school.  I remembered how they had inspired me to do more with my life, and the desire to help those who needed it most.  This little girl reinspired me to find a job with meaning and purpose.

FocusFirst Coordinator Cover Letter

Grace Gealy
335 Waugh Avenue
New Wilmington, PA 16142

January 17, 2016

1901 6th Avenue North,
Birmingham, AL 35203

Dear Hiring Manager:

I am writing to express my interest in the FocusFirst Coordinator position posted on the University of Pittsburgh’s job board. 

I come from a middle class family and I never had to go without food, clothes, or basic healthcare.  However, many of my hometown classmates came from lower income families and did not always have the same comforts that I did.  Experiencing this kind of disparity at a young age motivated me to dedicate my career to ensuring that all children receive equal education and healthcare, which is why I am interested in working with FocusFirst.

While studying abroad in London, I interned with Walkabout Foundation. I worked closely with one of the non-profit’s board members to research available treatments to cure paralysis.  I spent the semester completing research and compiling data.  As a result, I was an integral part in helping the organization create a research action plan.

While interning at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Pittsburgh I assisted the organizer of a charity walk.  I contacted local universities to request participation of their mascots as entertainment.  It was extremely rewarding to watch the mascots interacting with the kids.

I am confident that with both my passion for helping those in need and my work experience that I am an excellent candidate for the FocusFirst Coordinator position. Thank you for your time to review and consider my resume.  I can be reached at grace.gealy@gmail.com or (724)856-2882, I look forward to hearing from you soon. 


Grace Gealy


Grace Gealy
335 Waugh Avenue New Wilmington, PA 16142
Phone: (724)856-2882                        Email: grace.gealy@gmail.com
University of Pittsburgh                                 August 2013 - Expected Graduation April 2017
·       Major: Political Science, Minor: History, Certificate: Non-Profit Management

Work Experience
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia: Event Intern
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania                                                                August 2016 - present

  •  Team Member for annual Pittsburgh Light the Night Walk (LTN)
o   Helped coordinate logistics for over 700 participants
o   Contacted local businesses to inquire about corporate sponsorship opportunities
o   Arranged for college mascots to attend event
o   Distributed thank you letters and walk shirts to participants after the walk
o   Assisted in transition of new LTN Team
o   Assisted in creation of event materials (signs, posters, etc.)
Walkabout Foundation: Intern
London, United Kingdom                                                              January 2016 - April 2016
  •  Conducted Research for current scientific methods to end paralysis
  • Worked closely with board members to disseminate research information to colleagues
  • Assisted in office management tasks, such as documentation of bank records and design of fundraising materials

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak: Intern       
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania                                                                August 2015 - December 2015
  • Wrote proclamations to honor district residents in front of City Council
  • Created database of district properties with complaints of property blight
  • Wrote brief articles for a monthly newsletter

Levi Straus and Company: Stylist     
Grove City, Pennsylvania                                                               July 2015 - Present - Seasonal
  • Helped customers find the jeans best suited for their body and personal style
  • Communicated effectively with many international customers

Dunkin’ Donuts: Crew Member        
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania                                                                September 2014 - April 2015
  • Prepared food and provided efficient and friendly customer service

Toys R’ Us: Sales Associate
Grove City, Pennsylvania                                                               May 2014 - August 2014
  • Ensured that even the youngest customer had a great experience in the store

Emerging Leaders
University of Pittsburgh                                                                 November 2013    
  • Learned leadership skills: valuing others, integrity, self-knowledge, accountability, and change

Panthers Educating and Advocating for Children in Homeless Situations: Political Advocacy Chair
University of Pittsburgh                                                                 September 2014 - December 2015
  • Developed a weekly presentation to keep members up to date on current events surrounding the issue of homelessness
  • Helped plan and execute a homeless simulation, attended by roughly 200 people