Waterford’s Commitment to Rewarding Employee Passion

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“At Waterford.org, we reward passion and curiosity with opportunity.”

For some Waterford.org employees, their journey begins with the Waterford UPSTART intern program and evolves into a full-time position with the organization. Waterford’s interns are committed to the success of students and their families by helping to prepare children for their first years of school.

This video tells the stories of four Waterford employees and how they’ve progressed to their current positions within the company. Waterford believes that fostering the passion of employees and allowing them to cultivate their strengths not only benefits them but also improves the experience for students and families in the program.

One such employee, Brooke Hussey, began her career at Waterford as a college intern. Now, several years later, Brooke runs the intern program and is able to use her own passion for the program to find new interns that are just as dedicated to helping kids learn to read.

The other interviewees are Andrea Carrizo – Team Lead; John David Hernandez Culas – Waterford UPSTART Intern; and Nicole Plumb – Waterford UPSTART Intern.

Waterford’s staff and interns have helped to launch several new Waterford UPSTART pilot programs across the country, which will allow for even more children to be served with our kindergarten readiness program.

Interested in joining the Waterford team? Click here to see available career options!

Full Transcript

Brooke Hussey (Event and Intern Manager, Waterford UPSTART): I started at Waterford as an intern. I interned for two years. I learned about Waterford when I was a sophomore in college. One of my professors actually passed around a flyer in one of my classes and after I graduated college I came back to work for Waterford full time and I was pretty much a utility player. I helped out on a bunch of different projects. I helped put together a few grants and I started getting involved in the pilot programs. And then two years ago, I was given the opportunity to run the UPSTART graduations and training events as well as a summer internship program.

Andrea Carrizo (Team Lead, Waterford UPSTART): I love Brooke personally. I think it’s amazing that she started as an intern and now she runs the intern program it’s really cool to see that progression. I started just as a regular intern in the WACS room and the past two summers I’ve been a team lead. So that’s been a really cool growing opportunity for me because I never thought I would be in any type of leadership role.

Brooke Hussey: I don’t think my intern position is hard to sell. They get to travel our gorgeous state. They get to work with the stinking cutest kids you’ve ever seen. They get to build all these awesome friendships with other students their same age and they get to make a decent paycheck doing it.

Andrea Carrizo: Yeah I love working for UPSTART. I’ve actually been an intern for four summers now.

John David Hernandez Culas (Intern, Waterford UPSTART): I also really enjoy working with the families, with the kids, getting to watch them how excited they get at the different events that we do. At graduations, a lot of the times parents would come up to us and thank us for everything we’re doing there and for making it a fun experience for them and their child.

Nicole Plumb (Intern, Waterford UPSTART): I saw in UPSTART how these young kids, these four-year-olds and five-year-olds were reading huge paragraphs and just to know that those skills will help them later in life, that it will prepare them not only for kindergarten but the rest of elementary school, the rest of their early education and just knowing that is a great foundation for their life. I think it’s so important.

Brooke Hussey: As cheesy as it sounds I was inspired by Waterford and that the inspiration was motivating to me and that’s what gave me the motivation and that’s what made me love my job. I don’t think there’s a lot of jobs out there where you can say what you do really matters or it really makes a difference. And this is a job where you can feel that way. You can feel that what you’re doing has an impact on somebody else’s life. And that’s a great takeaway to get from it and I don’t think you can get that a lot of other places.

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