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My Make-A-Wish Experience

To graduate from university, I had to fulfill a 10 week internship requirement at an organization of my choice. Amidst applying to countless organisations, the only thing I knew was that I wanted to do something meaningful over the summer holidays.

Call it fate or pure serendipity, I recalled a post that I chanced upon a few months ago on my Instagram explore feed. A senior (presumably from my school) just completed his/her internship with Make-A-Wish.

Funnily enough, I don’t remember anything about that post, but it sparked my interest in Make-A-Wish and the amazing work that they do. (so whoever you are, if you are reading this, thank you for inspiring me!)

Having been an intern here for close to 2 months now, I will be candid and say that what I’ve learnt and done here is barely relevant to my field of study. However, I dare say that I’ve experienced so many wonderful things, and these lessons will stay with me long after my schooling years.

I have learnt that no matter where your talents and passions lie, there is always something you can do to give children the much-needed strength, hope and joy to battle their illnesses. Most recently, a group of girls from ITE College Central organized a bake sale and raised over $900 for Make-A-Wish. An adventurous duo scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, raising awareness and funds for our cause. These fundraisers have inspired me to channel my interests and talents to a greater cause.

Beyond learning useful skills that are prized by today’s employers, perhaps the greatest takeaway would be witnessing THE moment – seeing the child’s face light up when his/her wish comes alive and takes form right in front of his/her eyes. Having had the privilege to coordinate the Cinderella Tea Party, words cannot possibly describe the children's awe and excitement when Cinderella (a real princess from Disneyland USA, mind you) waltzed into the ballroom. These special moments make it all worth it.

Behind the glamour of every child’s wish is a group of dedicated staff, volunteers and donors who work tirelessly to make all of this possible for the child. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds, each member of the Make-A-Wish family comes together to contribute their expertise, time, funds and effort to keeping children’s dreams alive.

As my internship comes to an end, I know that I will never actually leave the Make-A-Wish family. I am embarking on my first wish and I am so excited for what is to come. I have learnt that the Make-A-Wish family is not just made up of the staff and beneficiaries. Whether you’re a staff, volunteer, donor or sponsor, you are a member of a close-knit family that strives towards a common goal – that is to inspire strength, hope and joy in critically ill children’s lives.

I will be sad to leave, but I’m certain that this won’t be the last you’ll see and hear from me at Make-A-Wish.

Stacy Tan