Brandi Carr ’22

Berkshire Bridges-Working Cities Pittsfield, Pittsfield, MA

This summer, I had the opportunity to pursue an internship at Berkshire Bridges-Working Cities (BBWC), a nonprofit organization focusing on providing resources to underserved residents in Pittsfield. In my position as a Continuity Strategy Intern, I worked alongside my supervisor and team members in order to better understand the complex socioeconomic and political landscapes of Pittsfield.

Go Ephs!

I was taught how to write grant proposals, arrange business meetings with political officials, and conduct informational campaigns. Moreover, I advocated for Pittsfield’s economically vulnerable residents in consultations with financial institutions. As an illustration, during my time at BBWC, I discovered the importance of recruiting resident voices alongside heeding the concerns of local and federal government representatives. Notably, my team and I met with individuals from Pittsfield neighborhoods, representatives from the Mayor’s office, and fellow nonprofit professionals. Thus, I gained valuable insight into the inner workings, and overarching concerns, of the various contributors in nonprofit organizations.

As a result of BBWC’s emphasis on a grassroots approach to social problems, my team and I created and promoted an informational campaign geared toward Pittsfield residents in need. In detail, I wrote the copy, designed, and edited brochures centered on BBWC’s social programs such as the At Home in Pittsfield Program and Financial Literacy. My creations were distributed during an in-person campaign, ensuring that we could see the effects of our diligent work in the community. Furthermore, I enjoyed writing grant proposals both with my team and as an individual. Specifically, I collaborated on a grant proposal outlining the importance of using incoming American Rescue Plan Act funds to support a Universal Basic Income Pilot.

Currently, I am a rising senior here at Williams and I’m so sad it’s almost over. I wish I could remain in the Purple Valley forever; however, as my English major undergraduate journey concludes, I feel capable and confident in continuing a postgraduate education through my law school aspirations. This year, I am going to apply to law schools with dreams of working in International Policy. I’ve always nurtured an appreciation for the legalities of social impact and my experience at Berkshire Bridges-Working Cities has further fueled my passion for advocacy through bureaucratic channels.

Overall, my experience writing grant proposals, speaking with community leaders and reflecting on the multidimensional needs of nonprofit organizations has greatly influenced my decision to pursue the legal underpinnings of nonprofit organizations. I owe so much to Ms. Anne Burleigh and to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for this opportunity as I continue my personal and professional development. I can’t wait to help fellow Williams Family members reach their full potential one day as well!