Meet the SDI Summer Interns

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Tyler Hammond is currently working as an intern on a Starkloff co-op in development and administration. “While working at SDI, I hope to learn how to do a report and letters,” he says.

Tyler got his associate degree at Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York in 2018. “I studied Business Technology and I hope to work in a business that relates to baseball,” he says.

Attending more Cardinals games and playing a lot of Special Olympic Baseball are Tyler’s hopes for the summer.

Lucy Vigil looks forward to being at SDI this summer. She is working as an intern on the DREAM BIG program. “I’m excited to learn more about the nonprofit industry and help this amazing organization in any way I can,” she says.

Lucy became passionate about disability and the disability community when her grandmother was paralyzed from the waist down. “I saw how much her access changed,” she says.

About to enter her senior year at Vanderbilt University, Lucy is majoring in Human & Organizational Development and Spanish. “This past fall I studied abroad in Spain!” she reports. “After graduating, I am hoping to work in the nonprofit sector or pursue a Master’s in Counseling Psychology.”

Lucy served as a sighted guide for a woman with visual impairments while she was in Spain. “I was fascinated by the information I learned about how Spain has helped drastically decrease unemployment rates for people who are blind in their country,” she shares.

Lucy will also be having fun leading the Vanderbilt chapter of a summer camp called Camp Kesem this summer.

Annie Donnell wants to further her knowledge about disabilities during her internship at SDI this summer. Annie is also working as a DREAM BIG intern.

“I hope to see individuals who go through the DREAM BIG program fully understand and believe that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to, regardless of their disability,” she believes. “I look forward to being a part of the DREAM BIG team.”

Annie will be a senior this fall at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. With a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Education, she aims to do something in communications with nonprofits.

This summer, Annie plans on running in a lot of 5K’s and spending time with friends and family.

Annie is visually impaired. “I have Retinopathy of Prematurity or ROP for short.” Her guide dog is named Hikari, which means light in Japanese. “While on a harness,” she says, “her guide work is amazing.”

As a guide dog, part of her job is to take Annie around obstacles; she stops for curbs, doors and elevators. “She knows how to find stairs,” Annie reports, “and also stops for any changes in elevation. I give her directions, and based on my specific body positions and voice commands, she follows them to the best of her ability.” Off the harness, Hikari enjoys playing tug of war, chewing on bones and running in the back yard. “She is such a loving, friendly and calm dog who loves to be around people.”

Overall, Annie wants to gain experience in the nonprofit field. “I hope to gain a lot of skills that will help me in the future,” she says.

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