My name is Kristen Taylor. I was an intern this summer at arc Thrift Stores’ corporate office. I am from Atlanta, Georgia, and I am majoring in sociology and minoring in political science at the University of North Georgia. Growing up, I was also giving back to the community and wanting to pursue a career that would allow me to do so when I graduated college. I started to think that working for nonprofit organizations would be the best fit for me.

I first heard about arc Thrift Stores through a neighbor and family friend. I decided to apply for the internship in order to learn about specific areas I was interested in, such as the HR department, volunteer and relief efforts, advocacy, and marketing. I was a little nervous at first when I first started because I was far away from home and was in a completely new environment. The people who I worked for in the office made me feel right at home quickly. They taught me not to be afraid to ask questions, were very welcoming, and they were always supportive.

My internship was the opportunity of a lifetime for me because I was able to see what I really want to do in life when I graduate college and these people helped with that dream. I learned important life lessons from them as well. While working here, I had to opportunity to help with a clothing drive at the capitol building in Denver. I was able to help with multiple volunteer groups (one of which was from my home church in Atlanta, Georgia), at multiple arc Thrift Stores, and to tell these groups how arc helps people in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I learned about office infrastructure from working in the HR department and how important it is to be organized. The relief efforts taught me that arc can help multiple different types of communities, such as a horse rescue facility.

The advocacy program that arc has showed me how arc helps this community and how everything is provided for them. The work and effort provided by this group amazes me and how much people are able to give back to the community. I remember interviewing one of the ambassadors for a blog post. By the end of that day, I had the biggest smile on my face because she had so much joy and happiness to give to everyone and because of how much she enjoys the environment of arc and how much arc has done for her. If anyone asks me, “What my favorite part of arc was?” it is going to be a tough choice between all the great experiences I have had. But I think my favorite part is the family environment that is created through the stores, warehouses, and home office.

Thank you all for this amazing opportunity.


Kristen Taylor