Rebuilding Together Benefits from ARL Internship Program

Ann HeavnerAnn Heavner joined Rebuilding Together Howard County in 2000 as a board member, and in 2008, she left her 27-year banking career to become its executive director. During her tenure, Rebuilding Together has transitioned from a single-day-a-year program into a year-round provider of free repairs to low-income homeowners living in Howard County. The organization is also introducing a Safe and Healthy Housing Program and a Community Revitalization Program. Here Heavner blogs about Rebuilding Together’s positive experiences with an Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL) intern.

As executive director of Rebuilding Together Howard County, I am pleased to share the story of our partnership with ARL, which resulted in our non-profit organization acquiring an intern this spring. Ayo Adelaja, a senior at Atholton High School and the Academy of Finance who plans to attend the University of Michigan this fall, brought to the table an advanced skill set that was much appreciated.

Although Rebuilding Together has been a formal partner with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) for several years, we never worked directly with ARL and we did not know what to expect when we signed up to host an intern.

Maddy Halbach, Academy of Finance instructor and this year’s HCPSS Teacher of the Year, first suggested the idea of a meeting between the two organizations. She said, “How would you like to have an award-winning writer create grant request applications for your non-profit?” The rest is history.

Not only did Ayo write grant requests, his grant requests were approved! For example, Ayo wrote a grant request for Sears’ Heroes At Home, which enables veterans and their families to receive free home repairs. As a result of Ayo’s efforts, Rebuilding Together was awarded $10,000 in funding to repair not one but two veteran homes in Howard County.

Ayo was a valuable team player whose efforts made a lasting impact on the Rebuilding Together organization. He performed important administrative jobs that freed up Rebuilding Together staff to focus on expanding programming and providing more low income homeowners with free home repairs. His energy and drive were outstanding. Ayo would receive a project anticipated to take a week, and he would turn it around in a day.

Rebuilding Together has already signed up for another intern in 2018. We hope to repeat the process with an equally outstanding intern next year!

Students participating in Career Academies receive focused instruction and experience in a chosen career field. An internship provides a key career immersion experience for students in several Career Academies. Interested mentor sites are invited to learn more about Career Academy Internships or contact the Office of Career and Technology Education at 410-313-6629.