Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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The end of the beginning!

Friday, July 19, 2013 3:02 pm

It is so hard to believe that today is my last day as the intern of Transformed Minds! Although this completes my Entrepreneurship Internship experience, I plan to stay involved with Transformed Minds as a volunteer for the remainder of the summer. While my time here has not been exactly what I expected, it has been incredibly beneficial, eye opening, and inspirational–so I have been lucky!

This week I have been finishing up my little projects and spending a lot of time teaching the Transformed Minds Executive Director how to continue what I have done. It was very rewarding to go through the prezi with him and teach him how to use the software, as well as the wordpress blog. I realized how much I have learned through this process, and am excited to use these skills in the future. I also wrote up a guide to prezi and a guide to wordpress, so he could use these as reference! We also met with a graphic designer this week to discuss branding for Transformed Minds. My best childhood friend’s dad actually works in this field, so I contacted him and he was nice to make time for us Wednesday morning. While initally I had made the contact because of a logo quesiton, the meeting really focused on building the image of the organization and the importance surround this process. It was really interesting and really caused Bob Mills and I to think critically and reflectively about the organization’s name, mission, and other descriptive attributes.

I came into this internship hoping for experience in the working world that will build my skills, build my resume, and help guide my interests. I have always been interested in nonprofits, but have also been interested in the communication side of organizations, such as marketing and Public Relations. After this internship, these interests are still on my radar. I do not feel as though this experience necessarily gave me experience IN the nonprofit world, since we are not a registered organization yet, but it did give me lots of information on what goes into building a nonprofit, which is very valuable. I have, however,really done a lot of work in the communication field throughout this internship, and have really enjoyed it! I can definitely see myself working in a similar field down the road.

My least favorite aspect of this internship has been the inability to really plan in my head and know what is expected of me. I realize though, that lack of organization stems solely from the fact that this organization is literally just starting, so there is more researching and preparation than expansive tasks and business. Also, my boss is very driven by the “Whatever God plans to happen will fall into place” mantality…which I need to work on! Strangely, my least favorite aspect has started to become one of my favorite aspects, as well. I have really begun to enjoy seeing everything come together! My”little” jobs of researching and reporting on legal status, board members, technology, etc, are now fully in action as the executive director moves forward with this information. My prezi presentation, blog, and facebook page are looking more official by the day and have really matured the image and legitimacy of Transformed Minds. Since I started, the executive director has signed on1 volunteer, 6 board memebrs, numerous special advisors, and has expanded his network of supporters. It has been amazing to watch something grow as much as Transformed Minds has, and I can only imagine how much it will keep growing in the next year, before the official launch in 2014.

To see the updated blog and get a better understanding of what Transformed Minds is, go to this link!

http://transformedmindsinfo.wordpress.com/

 

New Skills

Thursday, July 11, 2013 12:21 pm

As a communication and sociology major, I have given my fair share of presentations. These presentations have ranged from powerpoints to videos to posterboards, and have been about a variety of topics. However, my lengthy practice of presentations and preparing them on the computer sitll left me learning new things this week.

This week, my main job was to do a lot of work on the blog and to create a guide for the Prezi presentation which gives an overview of the reason behind Transformed Minds, what it is going to be, and the progressthatwe’ve made. I added many sections to the website, and it is really starting to look for my like an organization’s website rather than a blog! We currently are up to 5 Board Members for Transformed Minds, so I wrote bios for each of them, a bio for the executive director, provided the names of others who have been involved in things such as the 2010 and 2011 studies, updated the timeline, the media section, and more. The most interesteting part of this was the updating the media section. It is amazing how many publications (of a variety of forms) have already mentioned the making of this ministry or at least have featured Bob Mills’ work in the community. It will add to our credibility having these on our website.

For prezi, there is not an option to print the slides with room for comments like one can do with powerpoint. So that we can send the prezi out and get feedback from board members and other supportive and knowledgable people, I created a powerpoint-like-handout that can either be used printed out or on a google doc. After attempting this by screenshotting every frame, I was introduced to the Snipping tool, which made it a lot easier and look better. I will definitely use this tool in the future for projects!

It is hard to believe that my time interning for Transformed Minds is almost up, but very fulfilling to see a lot of the work I have done come together. I look forward to another week and hope to continue to set a great stage for the launching of Transformed Minds!

Setting the Stage

Saturday, July 6, 2013 1:49 pm

Through lots of volunteering in High School, I have thought for a long time that I want to work in non profit. This internship, while it is not exactly in a nonprofit, but is helping start one, has shed some light into this interest. I am stil interested in working for a nonprofit, but have realized that I would like to work somewhere with various employees and where job descriptions are put into place. I realize that at any nonprofit, each person has to help out regardless of their job title in certain situations, and I like this team work mantality, but for the most part, I would like to have a job that each day I know I will work on. I guess this just means that I like structure and a plan…which really is not anything I already did not know about myself, but I am realizing how important it is in my future job. I think the uncertainty and day by day aspect of starting a nonprofit has given me this perspective.

Bob Mills, the Executive Director, and only other employee of Transformed Minds was in the office with me this week as he retired from Wake Forest. It was great to have him there, as the face to face conversation was more productive than the back and forth emails! I set up a Transformed Minds email address, worked on the blog, the facebook page, and the contact list. I also contacted my friend’s father who works in graphic design about creating a logo for the organization! As I was getting all of this done, it was hard not to get too excited and overdo some of it–I have to remember that while we are working to start Transformed Minds, we are not an official nonprofit yet, so we have to be careful about how much we publicize/act as one. Bob wants to spend this next month or so using what I have done to continue to put together the nonprofit, so it will all be ready to launch when everything is in place.

For those intereted…the link to our blog is: http://transformedmindsinfo.wordpress.com/

We have not done a blog post yet, but the About Me, Contact Us, and Media sections have some info to browse through!

Our facebook page is : https://www.facebook.com/#!/TransformedMinds?fref=ts

 

 

Up and Running!

Friday, June 28, 2013 2:18 pm

After creating, editing, re-doing, and fixing again…the presentation I have been working on for the past few weeks is ready to be sent out to Transformed Minds contacts for them to give their input! I have enjoyed this project, but have definitely had to do more research than I thought. I have watched many tutorials online and read many blogs concerning Prezi and the secrets to getting it exactly how you want! When we are ready to share it with the public, I will post it on here!

This week the blog is also up and running! We have not posted anything yetr, but we have a URL address and account! This will be a place where people can stay posted on the progress of Transformed Minds, ways to be involved, and relevant mental health news. I was excited to get this started, as it will be a great tool to gather a follower group and keep people involved, as the nonprofit is still in the beginner stages.

Here isa peak into the timeline of Transformed Minds:

Summer 2010-Survey showed ned, feasability

Aprill 2011-Listening and Visioning gathering focused mission

2012: Plans made for Executive Director

Summer 2013: Summer 2013: ED, Intern work full time on
Board recruitment, communications, incorporation, financial projections, first round fund raising.

Fall 2014: Transformed Minds Launched (Hopefully!)

In these next few weeks I hope to get Transformed Minds on social media, get the blog posts rolling, and gather more contacts of people who would like to be involved. We are currently working on signing board menebers and special advisors!

The executive director, Bob Mills, retires this week from Wake Forest, and will be in the office with me starting next week. I think this will allow us to really make progress and continue to get things going!

One last reflection from the week-Multiple timesthis week I have been around town (outside of work) and been asked what I am doing this summer. Each time, I talked about Transformed Minds, and each time the other person knew at least one family that they wanted to tell about this upcoming resource. All these conversations I have hadthis week just further the idea that many people are effected by mental disorders, whether they are suffering themselves, or a they know a loved ones. It is encouraging to get this kind of response, because I know that Transformed Minds will bring hope to a lot of people!

Visible Progress

Friday, June 21, 2013 2:15 pm

It is exciting to see thoughts turn into actions and to know that Transformed Minds is really happening. At the beginning of this internship, a lot of what I was doing was learning about Mental Illness and starting an organization. I am still learning each day about these topics, but I have also been doing more hands on work, like a Prezi presentation, excel sheets, and researching blogs so that we can startan officialTransformed Minds blog.

Each of these hands on tasks demonstrates significant progress in the timeline. The presentation is close to finish, and I think I will be able to start a blog in the near future. These two media tools will be great as we try to expand the support and knowledge behind this organization. As a communication major, I have enjoyed creating the presentation and putting into action my rhetorical backgroundas I work to determine whateffects andwordingwill havethe biggest impacton the viewers. I am really excited to start a blog and share my passion, as well as the passion of Bob Mills and other incredible advocates behind this cause. As someone who had no knowledge oftheextremeneed for ministering in the mental health world, I would love to spread the word to others, so that they can learn and become passionate about the cause as well. One eye opening experience I had this week occurred because of media ministry, so I have seen how important it is. Global Media Outreach is a non-profit with the mission “Conducting relationship building, highly personal ministry with people from all countries through thousands of GMO trained online missionaries.’ The man who started it worked for Apple and had a revelation that the internet could be God’s great ministry, as it could allow every person, around the world, to know him and feel his presence. In a world where technology and social media sadly seem to be corrupting society, Global Media Outreach is using these advancements for good as they bring people to Christ. Here is a link for anyone interested-http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com

In 2010, people and organizations were surveyed by phone to discuss the situation inAmerica and thepossible idea of Transformed Minds. 40 Christian Leaders in mental health were identified and 22 were surveyed by phone. There enthusiasm, as well as concerns, were duely noted. In 2011, a smaller number attended a Listening and Visioning gathering. This week, I have updated each of these participants contact information on excel, as well as added more contacts, so that we can connect back with them and keep them up to date, as well as request their continued involvement. These people are from all over the United States and work in a variety of fields. Some examples are, Dan Booth (Business Travel Executive Magazine), Dr. David Jenkins (Graduate Professor of Psychology Liberty University, and Director of Christian Care Network), Reverend Yvonne H. Hines (Senior Pastor of Mount Sinai Full Gospel Deliverance Center), and Dr. Warren Kinghorn (Duke Medical Center and Divinity School). There are many more intelligent and noteworthy people who have been inovled, and each will be noted on the Prezi presentation. It has been great to see the broad participation and interest Transformed Minds has already received, and I hope to be able to work with some of these people as the organizaiton progresses.

Next week, I hope to make progress on the blog and come up with a social media strategic plan to publicize Transformed Minds and the progress we have made!

” “Do not be comformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NRSV)

Learning As We Go

Friday, June 14, 2013 2:32 pm

I have mentioned in previous posts that Transformed Minds is just getting started; Because of this, my internship is constructed a little different than others. I have not fully discussed the inspiration behind starting the organization, and this has actually had a significant impact on me thus far.Bob Mills, who is my boss and the man who is behind this idea, was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in his forties. Around this time, he also gave his life to the Lord. Despite all his hardships and obstacles he has faced, he radiates the love of God and he has used each struggle, or “Brokeness,” for good. One way he is doing this is by being an advocate in the world of mental health, not only through medical and counseling endeavors, but he is taking a special interest in the Christian handling of those with mental disorders and their loved ones. Bob recognized the fragmented and underfunded efforts of the counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, denominations, individual churches, para-church organization, etc, and wanted to fill this gap. That is how Transformed Minds came about-in hopes that it will bring together these fragmented efforts and enhance the Christian resources, as well as all the resources, regarding mental illness.

Coming into this internship, I knew very little about mental illness, so as I finish up this week, it is rewarding to think about all that I have learned. Through books, websites, conversations, and creating a presentation, I have learned alot about mental illness, it’s place in society, as well as the process of starting an organization. Today I am working on the Prezi presenation that I have been focusing on for the last two weeks, as well as researching a projected budget and online donation possibilities. Wednesday, I met with Bob Mills and a woman interested in helping out with Transformed Minds. Because Bob and I are the only “employees” at this time, it was refreshing to hear someone else interested and excited about this venture–and even more refreshing that she is talented in the world of software and internet codes, because I am not! Speaking with her opened my eyes more to how mental illness effects people and how Christian support can make a huge difference. She was inspiring and a good reinforcer thatTransformed Mindscan happen and will be supported by many people!

“no-casserole-illness”

Friday, May 31, 2013 5:37 pm

Although this is only my second week of interning with Transformed Minds, I have already been exposed to new ideas, new knowledge, and experiences to grow. Because I am helping Bob Mills start this non-profit, my work is a little different than an average interns. First of all, I work solely with Mr. Mills. We will eventually work with board members, an attorney, and others, but right now we are still in the preliminary stage. This creates a very relaxing environment, but also leaves little room to slack off becasue it is up to me to get thework done.Mr. Mills is a very smart person and offers a lot of wisdom relating to work and faith in everyday conversations.

I have been doing a lot of research on getting getting certified by the government, creating a website, issues related to trademarks/copyrights, and online donations. While this research has taught me a lot about starting up a business and all of the necesities to be legally recognized, I moved from research to creativity. I have been working on a presentation that will include facts about mental illness, the current situation of America, and the mission and purpose of Transformed Minds in society. I am a communication major, so I have really enjoyed this part of my work. This presentation will be used when introducing Transformed Minds to possible board members, donors, etc.

In the midst of researching and creating the presentation, I have been working on a project assigned by Mr. Mills at the beginning of my internship. He asked that I read “Troubled Minds” by Amy Simpson, and journal about it. He wants to see how a person who has no connection to mental disorders responds to the facts and the current situation in American society, as well as in American churchces, as this will help him interact with others in my situation, who may be of help to our organizaiton in the future. This assignment has been great because it has given me more knowledge about the reason for this all-mental illness. I titled my blog “no-casserole-illness,” because this is how Amy Simpson describes mental illness in her book. She writes about the overwhelming supoort people receive when they have cancer, heart disease, or other horrible struggles, but the lack of support people with mental disorders receive, when she says “And as we are busy enthusiastically delivering meals to suffering people, we are largely ignoring the afflictions of 25% of our population. That’s about equal to the total percentage of people diagnosed with cancer each year, those living with heart disease, those infected with HIV and AIDS and those affliceted with diabetes-combined.” Mr. Mills is referenced in this book various times, and he actually wrote an editorial years ago and talked about how mental illness gets no chicken pie.

In society, there is a stigma surrounding mental disorders. People do not know how to support loved ones or strangers because they don’t understand what mental illnesses are, or they don’t understand that they normally last for years or even one’s whole life, and is not a sickness that just disappears. Transformed Minds will be a much needed outlet for support for those with mental disorders, and their loved ones, and I am so excited about being a part of the organizaiton.

 

Transformed Minds: The Consortium for Christian Response to Mental Health

Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:11 pm

Week 1: What is the nature of your internship and the responsibilities you have? What are your expectations for the summer? What do you expect to learn

This summer, I am working with Bob Mills, currently theAssociate Vice President,Wake Forest UniversityOffice of Advancement, in effort to create a start-up nonprofit called Transformed Minds: The Consortium for Christian Response to Mental Health. This nonprofit will “glorify God by bringing his healing power to those who suffer from mental illness and those who care for them.” Mr. Mills and others invested in this idea because they realize that the mental health care systems are chronically underfunded, and there is a very apparent stigma that blocks the effective treatment of mental illness. Further, there is an extreme lack of support and knowledge of mental disorders within the church, an institution which should be helpful and understanding throughout one’s journey no matter the roadblocks that arise. In a Wake Forest University study in 2010, researchers concluded that “hard rifts, skepticism, and woundedness exist in church around mental illness and recovery.” A consortium could offer opportunities for differences to be recognized and respected without being endorsed.

As the intern, I will be researching various aspects of nonprofits, as well as mental disorders. I will help to create a preliminary website that will provide an in-depth description of the mission and have options such as on-line donating or web meetings for online collaboration. I started Tuesday and thus far I have done basic tasks such as contacting Office Depot about office supply and organizing the office, and have also begun research on obtaining 501-C-3 status as a nonprofit, and securing a desired URL for the website.

I am excited to grow as a professional and as a person throughout my internship this summer. After only working for three days, I have experienced new things and have realized how much I will learn this summer. Because I am unfamiliar with some of the tasks I will beresponsiblefor, such as setting up a website, I am hoping I can network to find others who feel passionate about this cause and are willing to offer their expertise. All in all, this will be a growing and learning experience!

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