Working at Forth: A Rewarding Experience
By: Salma Galvan, an ELI Intern
I first found out about Forth through Emerging Leaders PDX, an organization which connects students of color with opportunities for paid internships in the Portland area. My interest in nonprofits and research led me to Forth. I discovered a synergy between my interest in green energy and Forth’s mission to advance clean transportation.
I started my internship at Forth in the summer of 2021. I initially focussed on research for the E-tractor program. In September, I transitioned into Forth’s fundraising team, where I learned to write grant proposals and discovered the detailed planning toward each project.
I worked closely with seniors in the team on applying to the Portland Clean Energy Fund and planning for the Green Energy and Mobility (GEM) grant. I supported the grant writing with research on carbon savings for e-bikes and electric shuttle buses, demographic compiling and creating relevant narratives to describe Forth’s work. I also filmed and edited a video for the proposal to describe the project.
I loved working alongside my team members at Forth as well as collaborating with other organizations.
In addition to the work, Forth also prioritizes DEI-focused activities too. One of my favorite experiences at Forth was engaging with the staff in DEI meetings where members came together to expand understanding of one another and explore issues around institutional racism.
Overall, the work I did at Forth was very rewarding and this was a period of immense growth for me. I feel very proud to have been part of this groundbreaking work.
My internship ended in December 2021. This was an amazing first experience working in a professional space and nonprofit. Everyone was kind and helpful and I’m leaving very grateful for this internship experience.
I hope to continue working in the nonprofit sector with organizations that focus on helping disadvantaged populations. I’m especially interested in working with organizations with a focus on ending gender violence, aiding displaced populations, and slowing down climate change.