Summer Internships: Devyn Ankenbrant '26

August 2, 2023
Headshot of Devyn Ankenbrant

Name: Devyn Ankenbrant
Class Year: 2026
Major: Sociology
Minor: History
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Internship Organization: Neighbors Helping Neighbors on the Main Line
Job Title: Administrative Assistant
Location: Ardmore, PA

What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!

At Neighbors Helping Neighbors on the Main Line, I began my internship working on digitizing and organizing NHN's physical records into digital files. This included documents like demographics forms, receipts, and grants received by the organization. While the executive director and operations manager were out in the community or in meetings, I was the one at our office to open and close for the day as well as let in and direct volunteers in packaging essential items. On Thursday mornings, I would go to our food distribution location and assist in bagging and delivering groceries to our clients in and around Lower Merion Township. This was my job from the end of May until the beginning of July; halfway through my internship, NHN began renovations and moving to a new location! The new location previously served as a landscaper's warehouse, so there has been a lot of work to be done in preparing it for our new location called A Space for Neighbors. While general operations and food distribution are currently conducted in two separate locations, the goal is to have A Space for Neighbors open by the end of August for all services to be under the same roof. I continued going to the food pantry on Thursdays and to the office once a week to digitize, but my job drastically changed in that most of my time became dedicated to cleaning, priming, and planning how to transform the new location. Throughout my internship, I have attended administrative meetings to begin understanding the general operations of a non-profit organization. In the beginning of my internship, I joined NHN with a trip to the historic Johnson House in Germantown as part of the organization's partnership with the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work Social Justice Initiative. More recently, NHN organized two community events in which I took part: our Ardmore Comedy Night Fundraiser at the end of June featuring Comedy Central comedian Gianmarco Soresi, and our recent Paint and Pizza Party at the end of July to bring community members out to collaborate on transforming our new space!


Desk with papers and a laptop in front of a window.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship for a few reasons. Mainly, my family and I have greatly benefitted from community-based organizations that exist in Philadelphia, like Neighbors Helping Neighbors, to help us in the areas that federal and state social safety nets do not cover. I was moved to partner with a social justice-based organization not only because I personally recognize the value of organizations that exist to uplift marginalized/underserved communities but more importantly, because it is a fundamental goal in my life to help other people, similarly to how my family has been supported. I first came into contact with NHN at an event hosted by Bryn Mawr for students to meet social justice and activist organizations around the Main Line and Philadelphia area. When I met NHN and learned of the work they did in and around Lower Merion Township, I got a glimpse at what would become an opportunity to partner with them to make an impact locally. Now that I am a little ways away from home and figuring out my own path, I have realized how paramount it is for me to establish myself as a member of the general Main Line community outside of the Bryn Mawr College community, where I will work to help others in accessing the same privileges I have been afforded by being able to attend BMC. The Summer of Service internship gave me the financial support and housing to be able to contribute to the world around me in a way that will make a difference locally for those who need it the most.

Street A-sign that reads "Paint and Pizza Party Saturday July 29th 10 AM - 4 PM"

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

There are a few very important skills that I am learning in my internship thus far that I believe are essential to working at a non-profit organization. I think that being flexible and taking on many roles is one of the most important skills I have learned and used most often in my day-to-day life. While my intended job for the summer was office work, everything got switched up when NHN finalized the new lease, and we began moving to our new space. I had packed an entire wardrobe of nice clothes for the office like blouses and dresses; suddenly, I was digging for my cargo shirts and old T-shirts to get covered in dust and paint! Part of this work is definitely completing the tasks that nobody wants to do but needs to be done for things to go smoothly. I would not have believed you if you had told me on day one that I would end up on my hands and knees rolling on multiple coats of white primer or painting the woodwork black. However, this was the work that absolutely needed to be done for us to transform our new space into a welcoming environment, so I was more than happy to get it done and see our vision of a space for community care unfolding before my eyes. Recently, a job that I did not expect to be doing during my internship this summer was social media management. For our paint party, our operations manager was working remotely in a different country and for obvious reasons, could not be present. It was my job to come in on the weekend and record the progress being made to the space to advertise to our following online that NHN is making major moves! In sum, there is never just one thing that needs to be done, so I have absolutely learned the value in being able to pick up and put down different tasks to get multiple things done all in the same day.


What is most rewarding about your internship?

I feel so rewarded and grateful to have made a lasting connection with Neighbors Helping Neighbors on the Main Line from this internship. NHN is still a new organization, having been founded by executive director Muneera Walker during the COVID-19 pandemic when she saw how many community members were suffering from a lack of social support during this global crisis. The work that I have been doing over the summer in digitization is essential for NHN as they make large strides in growing their network of support for the community in and around Lower Merion Township. They have been so thankful for my support thus far and I have been absolutely full of excitement to learn and help out however I can to make a difference. I am sad that my internship is ending as there is still so much work that needs to be done! I am committed to continuing my work with NHN throughout the three years I still have at Bryn Mawr. Currently, I am pursuing working with them through the Community Work Study program and by designing my Praxis course where I can work with NHN.

Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.

Sociology History