IYF Intern Alumni Spotlight Series: Kristi Ryono, Summer 2023 Intern

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K. Ryono Inter alumni IYF 2023At IYF, we walk alongside young people as they navigate the path toward promising horizons. Integral to our core values is our dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). We actively work to break down systemic obstacles and cultivate an atmosphere where each voice is not merely acknowledged but embraced and respected. 

As part of our ongoing series spotlighting the inspiring journeys of our interns, we're excited to share the insights and experiences of Kristi Ryono, a passionate child development student at CSU Los Angeles with a clear vision: to empower young people and foster their growth.

Today, Kristi works as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator at San Jose State University's Healthy Development Community Clinic, a role that illustrates the positive impact of internships. Her experience at IYF played a big role in shaping her passion and career direction.

Recently, IYF caught up with Kristi to learn about her current endeavors and how her internship has shaped her career. Here's what she had to say:

What motivated you to apply for the internship program at IYF? 
I wanted to apply for the internship program at IYF because I was excited by its mission to empower young people from marginalized backgrounds. I was looking for organizations that help adolescents develop leadership skills and feel confident in themselves, and that is what IYF's youth programming encompasses.

How did your experience as an IYF intern influence your career trajectory? 
My experience at IYF solidified my interest in becoming a Program Coordinator, especially after being energized by putting together the logistics for the youth ambassador program and feeling the impact of my work.

What are some key learnings or skills you gained during your internship? 
I learned how big of an operation a nonprofit can be. It was so eye-opening to have conversations with professionals at IYF who worked in completely different fields from me, such as business and finance. It was also really cool to chat with folks who were working all around the globe. I learned it takes so many different skills and perspectives to make a program run efficiently.

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from your time in the program? 
A memorable experience for me was sitting in on a presentation about accessibility that another intern put together. I did not have much prior knowledge about accessibility, and his presentation was both informative and engaging. I was so proud to see his big culminating task come together so successfully.

Where are you now in your career journey? 
Because of my positive experience at IYF, I immediately started looking for more opportunities to support youth ambassador programs. I am currently finishing my Master's degree in Child Development and volunteering for two other youth leadership development programs.

Are there any words of advice or encouragement you would like to share with current/future IYF interns? 
Congratulations on landing this internship! Don't be afraid to ask questions because this is an amazing space to learn! Everyone was so supportive of my growth, and I was able to learn so much about things in my role and what others do.

Check out more inspiring stories from our IYF Intern Alumni Spotlight series here!