or get the
Show Notes & Links:
- National Breast Cancer Foundation
- NBCF Internship Program
- NBCF on Facebook
- NBCF on Instagram
- NBCF on Twitter
- Internship Program applications opening up just before FISD Spring Break 2017
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco on:
Scott Ellis: Welcome to the Frisco Podcast. I’m your host Scott Ellis and this week we’re going to be talking with Rebecca Anderson from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, right here in Frisco, Texas.
This episode of the Frisco Podcast is brought to you by Stan’s Main Street. If you’re out and about this weekend, they should be at the top of your mind of places to stop in and have a bite to eat. It’s a very family friendly environment. They’ve got great burgers. They got live music going on. Thursday, Friday, Saturday night. Just a good place to go hang out, catch a bite to eat in the middle of the day, maybe at dinner time if you don’t feel like cooking. Stop in. Tell them we said, “Hi.”
Now, let’s get into the episode. All right, Rebecca, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us today.
Rebecca Anderson: Scott, thank you so much for having me. We’re so excited about this opportunity.
Scott Ellis: We’re glad to help get the word out about you guys. You have a very important cause that you get behind and some very good programs to support that. First off, I want to say that I’m guessing that a lot of our listeners probably don’t realize that you’re located, that the NBCF is right here in Frisco, Texas.
Rebecca A.: That’s right. Actually, we get that a lot. A lot of people don’t know who we are. Don’t know that we are located right here in Frisco. Our office is in Hall Park and we’ve been a part of the Frisco community for a little over 10 years. Our CEO, CFO, COO, all live right here in Frisco, so the Frisco community is very important to NBCF.
We serve women across the country but Frisco is our home court, so to speak, so we’re very excited for this opportunity to connect with your audience and let them know a little bit about who we are.
NBCF’s mission is helping women now. The reason that we say “now,” is that over 80% of our funding is going directly towards programs that are making an immediate impact in the lives of women facing breast cancer. We serve women through early detection, education, and support services. Just really giving women a helping hand to hold as they face breast cancer because we believe that no one should face breast cancer alone.
Scott Ellis: Well, very good. Are there any particular institutions or anything that you guys work with in the area or do you work with hospitals or other organizations just all across the country?
Rebecca A.: We do serve women all across the country through our screening programs and we partner with hospitals. Here in the DFW area, we are working with Parkland Hospital, down in Dallas and also John Peter Smith Hospital, over in Fort Worth. Those are the two hospitals that we’re working with locally, but then we are also building connections with Frisco residents through our participation in the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. We work with a lot of the Frisco area schools and businesses, both for breast cancer education and fundraising events.
Scott Ellis: Yeah. I want to touch on that just briefly. We’re going to talk some more about what you guys do with the schools in a moment, but this is an area that, for me personally, has a lot of importance. I had both a family member and a very good friend in high school, who were young women in high school who had breast cancer and unusually young for that to happen, but it does happen, so that outreach at an early age is really so important. I know that first hand.
Rebecca A.: I hope that both of your friends are okay. I’m so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common disease.
Scott Ellis: Yeah. They both got treated early and they’re both fine and have had long, very happy, healthy lives, but it can happen. It is definitely something that people should be aware of. I think it’s one of those … It’s a condition that we often associate for women as they get a little bit older, not necessary at that age, but it can definitely happen. I just wanted to throw that out there so that people are definitely aware.
Rebecca A.: Yeah. I appreciate you bringing that up because it is much more prevalent with older women but it can happen to women in their teens, 20s, and 30s. As you said, early detection is so important. That really can make a huge difference in terms of the outcomes that people have and getting detected and treated as early as possible, really does offer the best hope for survival. I’m so glad to hear that both of the women that you know, that their breast cancer was detected early and that they are doing well.
That’s one of the reasons that NBCF exists, is that our CEO and founder, Janelle Hail, is a 37 year breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 1980, and she was so thankful for the screenings that she was able to have access to, and she wanted to make sure that other women would have access to those same screenings and same care because it does make such a huge difference to be able to detect it early.
Scott Ellis: Absolutely. Speaking of, students, schools, early detection, all that good stuff, one of the things that we originally connected on was some information that you shared with us about an internship program that the National Breast Cancer Foundation does with students.
Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about that internship program and what the goal of that program is and then we can talk some more about who should apply and give them some more information on that.
Rebecca A.: Awesome. Thanks. Yes, we do have a high school and college interns, but I think today we’re specifically talking about our high school intern program that we do in partnership with Frisco ISD. Really the goal of that program was to find a really meaningful way to invest in Frisco and invest in Frisco’s young people. We know that Frisco ISD offers an absolutely outstanding education to the young people of Frisco and these students are so bright, so talented, and so many of them have a passion for cause marketing and for doing things that are going to make a difference and give back.
We wanted to create a program that would allow these bright students to do something that really would make a difference for women affected by breast cancer and to help us get the word out about early detection, about helping women now. We launched a high school internship program in partnership with Frisco ISD, and we did it in 2016 for the first time. We had such a tremendous response. We had over 120 applicants for four intern positions, so we will be doing it again for 2017. This year we’ve actually expanded the program, so there will be six openings for 2017.
In terms of who makes a great candidate for our high school intern program, we are really looking for people who are highly motivated and interested in non-profit management. That’s the most important criteria because NBCF really does function like a business, so just like any business, we have a marketing department, we have a finance department, we have a business development department, which they are the ones who are responsible for networking and making connections with business who want to invest in NBCF.
We have a fundraising department, so what’s interesting about NBCF, is a lot of people here, National Breast Cancer Foundation, and they think, “Oh. It’s breast cancer. It’s very medical. It’s very cancer focused.” Cancer and working with hospitals are the people that we ultimately impact, is people affected by breast cancer, but the intern program and the NBCF office is really much more business-focused. I would say that students who have a long term interest in business, in non-profit management are really the ideal candidates for this program.
Scott Ellis: In terms of the timelines, is this an ongoing program? Is this a summer internship program? How do you guys structure that?
Rebecca A.: The intern program itself is a summer program and it ran for six weeks in the summer of 2016 and we’re going to do it again for six weeks in the summer of 2017. It’ll run from June the 12th to July 21st this coming summer and the application period will open just prior to spring break, so Frisco ISD students should be keeping an ear out with their councilors, with their student councils, and actually the four students who participated last year, have been tremendous advocates for us. They would be glad to share their experiences as well, if anyone has questions.
It is a six week program. It is paid, which actually is sometimes for a high school intern program, that doesn’t always happen, but it pays $10 an hour, which is great. In addition to the tremendous intangible benefits that students achieve from this program, like learning things about teamwork, learning things about project management, marketing, social media, corporate structure, all of those great things that students are going to come out of this with. Great experience to put on their resume, but they’re also going to make some money along the way.
Scott Ellis: Good to hear that it’s a paid internship program. I’m sure that … That’s certainly not the reason to sign up, but I’m sure that will appeal to some of our students in leu of maybe the normal summer job or things like that. Is this for boys and girls?
Rebecca A.: Absolutely. In 2016, we had three high school interns and three of them were female students and one was male, but it’s very inclusive. NBCF’s staff is a mix of men and women, so even though we’re a disease that primarily affects women, it does affect men as well. Men are diagnosed with breast cancer and also men are affected when their wives, sisters, mothers are diagnosed with breast cancer. Both men and women can get behind this cause and we encourage both young women and young men to apply.
Like I said, I think the biggest criteria for being a successful intern here, is that you want to give back and you want to learn more about what running a successful non-profit looks like. There’s a lot of things to think about, in terms of, affective business operations behind running this organization that at the end of the day, is helping so many women across the country.
We encourage students that have that non-profit interest to apply. The students that applied last year, we were absolutely blown away by the quality of the Frisco ISD students. Several of us joked that these kids who are half our age, had accomplished more by 16-17 years old then some of us have well into our 30s. We are looking for students who are highly involved, highly motivated, but we don’t want to limit it to just the top 5% of students. We’re looking for passion more than we are looking for a GPA or a resume.
Scott Ellis: Okay. Very good. You mentioned that you are expanding the program this year, so is it going to be open to more students or is it expanding in some other way?
Rebecca A.: It is expanding in terms of number of students. Last year, we had four high school interns and this year, we’re going to have six. The other thing is, we have a high school ambassador program because the responses were so tremendous last year and we realized that the interest level was so much larger than we could have anticipated, that we saw an opportunity to engage more students.
In addition to the growth of the high school intern program growing from four to six, we also developed a high school ambassador program and that is an ongoing program that students can participate in throughout the school year. The application period for that will actually be in August, just before the school year but we currently have about 14 high school ambassadors who are actively working on behalf of NBCF at their campuses.
Our goal for this coming year would be to have three students at each high school in Frisco to be ambassadors, so that’s another way to get involved as well.
Scott Ellis: Okay. What kinds of things are the ambassadors responsible for? What are they tasked with doing?
Rebecca A.: The ambassadors are responsible for helping get the word out about NBCF’s mission of their campus’ and some of the ways that they can do that are through breast cancer education events because as you said breast cancer does affect high school student sometimes so we want to help young women be aware, and young men, be aware of breast cancer, be aware of the things that they should be doing to be proactive, so some of those events that they do will include educating students over a lunch hour about breast cancer and about how it affects one in eight women.
The other things that they do are conduct fundraising events. We’ve had some of the Frisco area high schools do fundraisers through their student councils where they sell tickets to a Pink Out event. We’ve had events at some of the local high school football games and one event that was done was really meaningful, was two of the area high schools did a Pink Chain event, where they sold pink chain links and then at the halftime at the football game, they linked the chains together from the two schools to show that even though they were competing against one another on the football field, that they were united in the cause of helping women now. I thought that was just a beautiful example of these young people wanting to do something to make a difference and to get involved and give back.
There’s really neat things like that happening with this young generation and we’re just so thrilled to be able to provide a platform to engage with these students.
Scott Ellis: Wow! That is a neat example and a good overview, I guess, if somebody’s interested in being an ambassador, August. Get ready for August and send in your application then. In the meantime, let’s go back to the internship program because I want to end on this because I’m hoping it will get some of the high school students excited about possibly taking part in that internship program. Can you talk a little bit about the project or projects that have been undertaken by students in the past and what were the results of the projects or the intern projects that they did?
Rebecca A.: Absolutely. One thing I do want to add that, I apologize, I think I missed earlier is, this is a program that is open to juniors and seniors.
Scott Ellis: Okay.
Rebecca A.: In terms of the summer internship, it’s students who will be going into their junior or senior year in the fall. Then, the high school ambassador program is also open to students who are in their junior and senior year for that school year.
Scott Ellis: Okay. Good to know. On that note, I know we’re talking about the high school internship program today, but you said you also have a college internship program, so if somebody listens to this in Frisco who happens to be a senior this year and is going to college next year, is there a program that’s appropriate for them to be applying for as well?
Rebecca A.: Absolutely. That one is, it hires on more of an as needed basis, but we, at any given time usually have anywhere from three to six college interns. They are throughout our organization in accounting programs, development, marketing, and it’s been really neat to see the talent that we’ve been able to recruit from the local area through UT Dallas, through University of North Texas, from SMU, so that is another option as well, that we can connect someone with our HR department if they’re interested in one of those opportunities as well.
Scott Ellis: Okay. Good to know. All right. Let’s go back to the summer internship program for high school students. Let’s talk about the projects a little bit.
Rebecca A.: Absolutely. Last years students, their primary project was to put together a toolkit that would enable us to better engage with high school students in supporting NBCF’s mission, so what was really neat about what they put together is that a lot of what they created has been used in the ambassador program over this current school year.
It wasn’t just a theoretical project that they did, but they put together something that had really practical application. They put together communication documents. Things that students could use to get approval from their school administration, from their faculty, to conduct an on campus fundraiser or to conduct an on campus breast cancer education event. They were able to think through some of the things that would need to occur at the school level that we perhaps wouldn’t have thought of because we haven’t been in high school for a while.
It was really neat to see their creative ideas. They certainly had, as you can imagine, some great ideas for engaging social media. NBCF is very active on social media. These students are so active with social media that they had some great ideas about things to do with Snapchat, with Instagram, and it was neat to see them work as a team as well. They all [inaudible 00:18:07] in their own right, were outstanding students who have very bright futures, but they each had different strengths. It was really neat to see them work together as a team and to identify who was strong in various areas and to make the best of the skills that they had collectively as a team.
I think that that’s a skill that will serve them well in their future academic careers, in their future professional careers because, as you know, no one is an island. Team work is how affective businesses get things done, so it was really neat to see them get to work on the project as a team and build that skill as well.
Scott Ellis: Well, very good and it’s neat to hear that they did something that has ongoing implications and has lasted. It wasn’t just a purely summer project, so very glad to hear that.
Rebecca A.: Absolutely.
Scott Ellis: All right. Well, Rebecca, thank you so much for joining us today. Guys, if you have a student in high school in Frisco and you think this is something they would be interested in, let’s make sure that they get connected. Where should we send them to learn a little bit more?
Rebecca A.: For now, the best way to learn about NBCF would be to visit our website, nbcf.org. You’re also welcome to call our offices 972-248-9200 and ask any questions about NBCF, but that high school intern program application period will open up just prior to spring break, so keep your ear out for that.
You can always contact infoatnbcf.org for any questions that you may have about us, and I want to encourage everyone to follow us on social media because that’s the best way to keep current with everything that NBCF is doing both locally and nationally. We have some really exciting events coming up this year.
We’re actually conducting our very first gala in March here in the DFW area, so there’s a lot of neat things going on here at DFW and I want to encourage people to follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and make sure you don’t miss any of these exciting events.
Scott Ellis: Wonderful. That’s good to know. We will be sure to direct everybody to the website, but we’ll also link up the social accounts in the show notes for this episode. If you have an interest, if you want to go out and learn a little bit more nbcf.org or just hit the show notes for this episode of the Frisco podcast.
Rebecca, thank you again so much for joining us today. Really appreciate what you guys are doing and really happy to know that you are right here in Frisco.
Rebecca A.: Scott, thank you again for the opportunity and we are so excited to see the students that apply this year. I know we’re going to get a great group of high school interns again this year. Thank you for helping us get the word out.
Scott Ellis: You bet. Thank you very much. For everybody out there listening, thanks again for tuning in and we will talk to you next week on the Frisco podcast.
This episode of the Frisco podcast was brought to you by Stan’s Main Street. You can find them at 7210 Main Street in old downtown Frisco, Texas. Stop in for a bite to eat or to hang out and play a few games.