Pictured: Harvest Summer Intern Zariah Scales
The Harvest Foundation celebrated Virginia Intern Day on July 28th with summer intern Zariah Scales. Here’s more from Scales about her work and how it ties back to her love of Martinsville-Henry County.
Why choose Harvest for your internship?
“When I was on the Harvest Youth Board in high school, I worked with staff and other board members making a difference in the community. I witnessed firsthand how important the foundation was to MHC and I was grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that again with a new perspective while in college.”
What have you been working on?
“I’m researching the benefits cliff of public assistance programs and how they can impact the economic mobility of families. Benefits cliffs occur when families receiving public benefits experience an increase in income, even by the slightest amount, which results in the loss of benefits programs. This is an issue for many low-income families because the increase in hourly wages is typically less than the amount that the family loses in benefits. This creates a barrier for many people who have opportunities to take a promotion, take on a new job, accept a raise, etc.”
Overall, what’s your experience with this internship, and how does it support your future career?
“The experience and the knowledge I’ve gained with this internship made the most impact on me this summer. This is such an important topic that not many people are educated on. I feel that I’ve gained a unique perspective on the issues I’ve been researching, and I’ve also enjoyed making connections with the people who aid my research. Just the experience of working in a professional environment will help me in the future. Nonprofit and community work are a passion of mine, even though I’m going to school to be a physical therapist.”
Last question, What do you love about MHC?
“I love the small town and close-knit community vibe that we have here. There are bigger cities not far away that you can go to if you want to do something, but you can always come back to MHC. I think our area has such great potential for businesses, activities, recreation, arts, and so much more. There are many small businesses opening in our area and other larger businesses coming to town, which is just what we need. If others realize the potential that Martinsville-Henry County has, then so can we as citizens.