Building a Greater Los Angeles BlogOur Team

Justin Murry
Thanks to the Bank of America Student Leader Program, I had the amazing opportunity to be teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles for an eight week summer internship, highlighted by a week in Washington D.C. with 230 high school seniors and college freshmen from across the United States and London each representing a non-profit organization.

When I first got the news that I was going to be teamed up with HFHGLA, I was hesitant. I didn’t know exactly what the organization did. However, my entire viewpoint of the organization was changed when I met with partner families Amanda Jordan and Mr. and Mrs. Draughan during the Collegiate Challenge dinners. Meeting them put a face to the papers I saw on my desk. I was able to see the impact HFH GLA has had on their lives and though unaware at the time they changed my life. To be honest, there were days I just wanted to sleep in and hang out with my friends, but after meeting these families it made working in the office to further HFH GLA’s mission even more worthwhile.

I’ve loved my time with HFH GLA, it has been an unforgettable, life changing experience. I am sad that my time is coming to an end, but I am excited to go back to school and get more youth involved in the affiliate. I had the opportunity to be a part of the planning process of World Habitat Day and Act! Speak! Build! Week.  Act! Speak! Build! Week gives young adults and kids an opportunity to advocate, educate, and get their community involved in HFH GLA’s mission to eliminate substandard living. As a past participant last year I’ve been encouraged and I believe you can change a young person’s whole life, if you educate them about homeownership at an earlier age.

As I begin my last week at HFHGLA I can’t help, but remember my first day walking into the doors of the Figueroa office intimidated and nervous about the upcoming weeks. As the weeks unfolded, I sat in on various department meetings and surprisingly I was asked what I thought. I went to the Board Retreat at Disneyland and I was treated like I was an important part of the HFH GLA family. I had the chance to observe what makes this affiliate so great by working with various departments as a requirement of my internship. I worked alongside the very busy Homeowner Relations Department, the amazing Isabel Lee in Executive, the hilarious and hardworking Darrell Simien in Construction, all the Superheroes in Development, and the energetic Power Women in EMC. I’ve had an experience most people dream of having and I’ve loved every second of my internship. I want to say thank you to all the staff, homeowners, and volunteers who have changed my view of the world.  I hope I will always be considered a part of the HFH GLA family. 

Has your life been impacted by Habitat for Humanity? Please share your story here in our comments or join the conversation on Facebook.

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About EMC
Erin G. Rank is the President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA), which serves 112 cities and unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County. Erin has been a valued member of the Habitat for Humanity organization for more than 15 years and remains dedicated to making housing a global priority. She has served on Habitat for Humanity International’s U.S. Council, which oversees policy making for all U.S. affiliates of Habitat for Humanity.

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