Hello, my name is Olivia Brigagliano. I am honored to have this opportunity to be a summer intern at the Freedom Cafe through the Social Innovation Challenge at the University of New Hampshire. This experience is teaching me a lot of valuable skills that I will be able to speak to and use in my development professionally. The Freedom Cafe is a wonderful space that has been able to capitalize on my interests as an economics and international affairs major. I have been welcomed into the friendly community that is Freedom Cafe and have been working on a series of projects to help The Freedom Cafe become more financially sustainable while promoting the Freedom Cafe’s mission and model.
I started out my internship by working with a new donor management information system. I integrated past and current data that consisted of everything from volunteer information, individual and organization donors, campaigns, events, appeals onto one organized site. During this time, we created a new streamlined system that allows for volunteers to log their hours onto this site and keep all of the Freedom Cafe’s constitutes organized on one functional site. After organizing and integrating data, which allowed me to gain Excel and management information skills, I moved to the next part of my internship. This aspect is focused on financial forecasting. I have been analyzing popular products within the Cafe and trying to determine growth through profit margins. I am analyzing trends to help determine if the Cafe should open on a weekend or if we should mark-up prices. I also help keep track of our project fund and other daily cafe transactions. Through this process I have been able to delve deeper into financial systems and gain accounting skills through the process. Finally, I am working on communications and guidelines, developing a foundation for social impact surveying. I am working on how the Cafe relays its mission and model to others and creating a familiar framework to share what the freedom cafe is about and how it is impacting the mission to end human trafficking. I am also working on an awareness survey to give out to the public. I am working with a marketing intern at Hayden’s Sports to create a partnership that will bring greater visibility to the cafe in the Durham community.
I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people. Their passion and devotion to this organization are attributes that I hope to have as I move on after this internship. I am very thankful to have been able to work with Bryan, Rachel, and Sean on these tasks. Bryan’s endless determination to this space as the director of Freedom Cafe is one of the biggest reasons why I feel as though this experience is a success. I have learned a lot here and will stay connected to the Cafe even after my internship. Your donations to support my position have made all of this possible. I sincerely thank you. I am thankful to have had this internship for I have been able to grow as an individual but also I have been able to work with an organization that has a beautiful mission that I am happy to help make stronger.