Ray Stark ’14: Thirsty to End the Water Crisis

At the Beverly Hilton with Chelsie Kent, the Power of Youth award winner. She raised $12,000 for a freshwater well.

Ray Stark ’14:  Life has moved from 0-60 as soon as I arrived in Los Angeles to start my internship with the Thirst Project.  The internship began with the biggest jet lag of my life.  As soon as I arrived in Indiana (returning from a five month study abroad program in Brazil) it was already time to get back on a plane, only two days later, headed for Los Angeles.

When I arrived in L.A., I spent the next two weeks working hard, consistently for 10-14 hours per day in preparation for our biggest event of the year, the 4th annual Thirst Gala.  The Thirst Gala is our biggest event every year held at the Beverly Hilton, where we rent out the ballroom and invite our most prolific supporters in hopes to gain large donations to help build wells.

Even though I currently work with education and outreach for the Thirst Project, I received a lot of responsibilities with event planning/production in weeks prior to the event.  I helped our communications intern manage the live stream during the hour of dead time during dinner.  I helped by timing the arrival of celebrities for their interviews during this dead time, as well as managing logistics of table seating and food orders.  While this was really amazing, my favorite part about working for the Gala had to be getting to “act” in one of videos shown during our awards ceremony.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7X2ae8Hlbk

In case you were wondering, the Gala was an amazing event and it went off without a hitch. We ended up raising $200,000!

Even though I have gotten to do some incredible things through this event and the internship, I want to make it clear that it wasn’t the anticipation of these experiences that brought me to L.A., rather, it was the Thirst Project’s Mission.  Ever since I heard about their goal to end the world water crisis back during Sophomore year, specifically their goal to provide the entire nation of Swaziland with fresh clean drinking water, I knew that I had to be a part of this mission in some capacity.  I can now honestly say that I’m a pivotal part of our goal to provide nearly 1 billion people with access to safe clean drinking water.

While this is a dream come true, the point is that you, the reader, can also make this a reality.  The crazy statistic that always gets thrown around the office is that for $25, one person can be provided fresh clean drinking water for a life time.  Even if you can’t afford to donate, just spreading the word could be enough to convince someone else to donate, thus saving another’s life.

It is this purpose in my work that has made the work so fun and rewarding I believe.  It is the reason that I chose this internship.  Ever since I was young, my father always said that if you find a job that you go to and love doing it, then you will never have to work a day in your life, and with the Thirst Project, I have found that love for my job.  I can honestly say right now that I’m excited to get up in the morning to work for this cause and will continue in any capacity that they allow for me to help in.

I’m excited to see what the upcoming weeks have in store for me and the Thirst Project as I get into the “nitty gritty” of my Internship.  My main projects as the Education and Outreach intern will be the expansion of our school tour and development of a week-long curriculum about the human water crisis.

I just wanted to thank The Wabash Callings Program and Career Services for making all this possible.


 

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