What Komen St. Louis Taught Me

Guest Writer: Jessica Zadoks, Komen St. Louis PR & Marketing Intern

When I started my internship at Komen St. Louis in May, I was hoping to learn a little bit about what it’s like to work for a nonprofit, and how this organization does everything that it does.

As a member of Zeta Tau Alpha at Vanderbilt University, I’ve supported Susan G. Komen as part of our sorority’s philanthropy. I knew that Komen was doing great things, but I had no idea what a large impact this organization has in St. Louis.

Jessica Zadoks, Komen St. Louis' Summer 2013 PR & Marketing Intern

Jessica Zadoks, Komen St. Louis’ Summer 2013 PR & Marketing Intern

So before beginning my internship here, I knew what Susan G. Komen was. I had seen commercials on KSDK for the Race for the Cure. I had seen people with pink ribbon stickers on their cars and pink strips dyed in their hair for breast cancer awareness. But I realized that I really didn’t know exactly what this organization did to fight breast cancer. I was actually kind of shocked to learn how many people are helped by programs and resources that are funded by Komen St. Louis.

And working at the Komen office, I learned just how vital these resources are. When women called needing free mammograms because they were uninsured, or needing assistance during breast cancer treatment, I was able to direct them to the right place.

Also, I learned quickly that it takes a lot of committed people – from volunteers to committee members to board members to everyone who works in the Komen office – to make the large impact that Susan G. Komen has made in the St. Louis area.

Everyone I have met is so dedicated and caring, and I can tell that they genuinely enjoy supporting a cause that is so important and personal to so many.

I was also surprised by how much work really goes into every event, and how much time and talent it takes to make these events a success. I really liked going to the “Show Me St. Louis” window in the weeks leading up to the Race to promote Race registration.

Growing up in the St. Louis area, I had many friends and neighbors that participated in the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, but I had never attended myself. This year, I loved being downtown and hearing the inspiring stories of breast cancer survivors. It touched my heart to see how much participating in the event means to them, and how it brings the whole community together. My favorite part of the day was standing at the end of the race course, seeing the survivors and their loved ones’ excitement and pride as they crossed the finish line.

Working here, I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people and learn so much. I’d like to thank everyone for welcoming me as part of the Komen St. Louis team. It has been a wonderful experience and I have learned a lot about a great organization.

While soon I’ll be headed back to school, I definitely won’t forget everything that working here this summer has taught me. I look forward to participating in the Race for the Cure this fall in Nashville, and I will definitely be back next June to race again in St. Louis!

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