Corrado competed for the scholarship with students from 70 universities across the country. The $4,500 scholarship is given to students that complete a 300-hour long internship at a nonprofit organization, which is a requirement for the American Humanics certification. In addition to having a solid understanding of the nonprofit field through her education at Grand Valley, she will have work experience and leadership skills from meeting the requirements for the American Humanics certification.
“Marlene is an exceptional student who is very creative and thinks outside of the box,” said Quincy Williams, Grand Valley’s director of American Humanics and internship coordinator for the School of Public and Nonprofit Administration. “She is always thinking of others before herself.”
Over the summer, Corrado worked with the YMCA headquarters in Chicago where she filled in for the assistant director of finance for the International Group. While she spent some of her time finalizing details for the International YMCA’s Youth Conference in Prague, she also spent time collaborating with the YMCA of Madurai, India to create a capital campaign presentation to promote construction of an international center.
“Working at the YMCA has made me well aware that if I am not making mistakes and asking questions, I will never go beyond ‘the intern,’” she said.
In addition to her internship, Corrado has done a variety of volunteer work for many years. She has served at the homeless food banks in Miami, Florida as well as taught ESL classes in Hispanic populations in Houston, Texas. At Grand Valley she is the co-founder of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority that focuses on active philanthropy and service. Though she doesn’t know where she will end up after she graduates, she knows that it will involve her passion, helping others.
“With globalization becoming more of a hot topic, we are now in the position where we must hold ourselves accountable to learn new languages, cultures, or at least acknowledge the existence of the people outside of our bubbles,” she said. “We can utilize the abundant resources of our country to positively influence lives of people who deserve so much more."