When Morgan Storino, a junior at Syracuse University double majoring in chemistry and citizenship and civic engagement (CCE), was a freshman in high school, she had a hard time finding a summer volunteer program that appealed to her interests.
However, that changed when she learned of an opportunity at her school that gave students a chance to help out at Camp Invention®, the flagship summer program from the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF).
“It felt up my alley because other traditional ways of volunteering hadn’t offered any sort of long-term commitment or community involvement,” Storino said in an interview with NIHF. “I really liked the fact that the Leadership Intern program was both structured and offered the opportunity for a letter of recommendation.”
A Formative Experience
Designed for high school and college students, NIHF’s Leadership Intern program provides real-world classroom experience and the opportunity to earn up to 40 volunteer hours that can go toward graduation requirements or be used for scholarship and job applications.
Additionally, participants explore the importance of intellectual property and learn how entrepreneurship and innovation can be used to help others. Following their completion of the Leadership Intern program, students receive a letter of recognition from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
For four consecutive summers beginning in 2014, Storino participated in the program and appreciated the clear sense of progress and responsibilities that her school’s Camp Invention Director, Jena Brodhead, gave her each year.
“Our Director was really great at noticing when we could take on other responsibilities at camp that we showed an interest in,” Storino said. “By the time I was a senior, I was managing the camp’s social media account and taking photos. I really appreciated that sense of trust built up over time.”
Today Storino credits her experience working with younger students at Camp Invention for sparking her interest in helping others and believes that it played a significant part in her choosing a CCE major at Syracuse University. As a junior preparing for her medical school applications, she plans to pursue a career that uses science to make a difference in people’s lives.
“The Leadership Intern program was the first formative experience I had in my journey to seek out public service opportunities,” Storino said. “It was the first thing that got me hooked on using science in a way that allows you to communicate with others and achieve something tangible.”
For high school students who are considering the Leadership Intern program, Storino encourages them to do it.
“If you have any interest, just go for it,” Storino said. “The Leadership Intern program welcomes you into this kind of unique community that you don't really find anywhere else.”
We Would Love to Hear From You
Do you have a fun story to share about Camp Invention? We invite you to share your experience with us on our Facebook page.
To learn more about the Leadership Intern program, please visit our website.