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Member Highlight: Imoni Smith


This fall will be a big one for SECF, culminating in the 50th Annual Meeting this November in Atlanta. While that means more work than usual, the SECF team will have some extra support thanks to Imoni Smith, our fall intern.

Imoni, a senior at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, says her academic work helped lead her to SECF.

“I took a policy leadership class during my junior year in college. The entire class was dedicated to leaders in the sector, mainly nonprofits and foundations,” she says. “Every foundations’ employees spoke to the class with a passion that made me curious about philanthropy. The curiosity turned into me pursuing an internship in philanthropy. During the search, I found SECF.”

During her internship, Imoni will assist staff with member requests, assist with data entry and provide other forms of support, including building the mobile app for the Annual Meeting. She says this work, and the opportunities it provides to connect with foundation staff and trustees, will supplement her studies – Imoni is working toward a degree in public policy with a concentration in nonprofit leadership.

“In my classes, we focus mostly on nonprofits and policy. We learned only a small portion about foundations, which always left a grey area for me because I knew it is a huge part of the sector,” she says. “SECF will supplement everything the classroom has not taught me. I want to learn everything to prepare me for the future before I get thrown to the wolves.”

Imoni already has experience with the nonprofit side of the sector. She has served as a development intern for the March of Dimes in Atlanta. She also launched a drive to collect feminine products for homeless women in the Atlanta region, serves as treasurer of the YMCA’s Georgia State University chapter, and is a site leader for Panther Breakaway, an organization that plans alternative winter and spring break programs for students.

“I love what I do. That is the only way I can explain my experiences,” Imoni says. “All of them have been impactful to who I am becoming.”

When she’s not at the SECF offices or in class, Imoni works as a server and spends her free time exploring Atlanta’s restaurants, attractions and neighborhood festivals.

 

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Southeastern Council of Foundations
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Mission: The Southeastern Council of Foundations serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.