Working with TERRA Helps Fund My Work with Developing Countries
At TERRA, our mission is “Success Stories Created Daily” so it thrills us to no end to share the story of Denise Miller. Some people come to TERRA to be connected to their dream job. Denise already has her dream job. She came to TERRA to work part of the year to earn an income to help support work that represents her true passion.
Denise is in the “success story” business. She is helping people in developing countries tell important stories digitally. She is helping spread life-changing messages about health, political participation, education and inclusion in disadvantaged communities. These stories have the potential to change people’s lives individually as well as improving conditions across the broader society.
We hope you are as inspired as we were by Denise’s story. We’re grateful to have played a part in her Success Story as she helps create success stories for others.
By Denise Miller
I direct ChangeStream Media (www.changestreammedia.org), a Seattle-based, volunteer-powered nonprofit organization. We partner with charitable groups worldwide to create multimedia productions that educate, inspire and improve the social welfare of disadvantaged communities. We also train community leaders in digital storytelling, empowering them to share important messages with a wide audience. Last spring we traveled to Guatemala and Honduras, where we made videos encouraging indigenous women to vote, teaching youth about HIV prevention and dental hygiene, and recruiting residents of a small village to free English classes. Starting in November we will work in Port-au-Prince, Haiti documenting sustainable building techniques, advocating for increased tolerance of the Haitian LGBT community, and training local activists in video production skills.
Generous donors have funded most of ChangeStream Media’s international projects’ expenses, but the organization is still too new and small to provide our staff with salaries. Working with TERRA Staffing during my four months in Seattle has provided me with income, as well as the opportunity to meet great people around Seattle.
The majority of my TERRA assignments have involved providing customer service and performing secretarial duties at downtown firms. All of my on-site supervisors have been helpful and friendly, and I’ve appreciated their positive feedback. A few have even encouraged me to apply for positions with their companies.
My favorite assignment, perhaps not surprisingly, has been ongoing occasional work with a local nonprofit organization. I have very much enjoyed feeling that I was contributing to its important mission of helping underserved young people obtain college degrees. It’s also been useful for me to have a “behind-the-scenes” look at how an established charitable business operates.
I’m very happy with my decision to work with TERRA Staffing and I’ve enjoyed the positive interactions I’ve had with Autumn, Patty and Fae. I look forward to connecting with them when I return to Seattle next summer!