Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Interning with AS – Behind the Scenes

Hi, my name is Jose Sandoval.

While interning with Austin Smiles, I have come to learn the ins and outs of what happens behind the scenes of planning and getting ready for an International Mission Trip. Coming into Austin Smiles, I immediately started working on getting paperwork and all other needed documentation from the volunteers submitted to online systems for Guatemala. During my second week, I learned that we needed to resubmit a new application for each volunteer, Ellise (Communication Director) and myself got to work at once and got them signed and submitted in time. This unexpected hiccup allowed me to communicate with many of the volunteers through email and text messaging, a small amount through phone calls. That same week, I learned and started working on the foundation’s inventory. Before coming to Austin Smiles, the inventory was needing more organization, Ellise created an online document that allowed us to input all the inventory the foundation had, later we used the McKesson site to gather the prices and get a better understanding of the total monetary value that Austin Smiles possessed and put together the crates that will be traveling on these mission trips.
During the planning of the Guatemala Mission Trip, I was tasked with creating introductions for the foundation’s newsletter with a portrait of each volunteer, indicating their name and job title during the mission trip. I have also assisted in translating documents from Spanish to English for non-Spanish speakers, such as documents sent over from Peru. Peru has asked Austin Smiles to consider doing a mission trip to not only Cusco but Lima as well. Along with the translation of the documentation sent over, I helped with creating documents for local events for the Central Texas Families that are clients of Austin Smiles. I have connected with families through email, text, and phone calls to invite and inform them of these events, like Farm Day at Sweet Eats Fruit Farms. I have assisted in taking care kits that the families of Central Texas apply for, to hospitals. These care kits are supplies that are needed for post-operative care, such as a teddy bear, HEB gift card, bottles, etc.
Speaking of helping families locally and internationally, this year Austin Smiles is celebrating their 35th anniversary and celebrating by putting together a Gala. I have assisted in reaching out to local businesses and asking for any monetary or tangible donations for the event. While doing this I learned the process of organizing an event and what goes into preparing for a big event like The Austin Smiles 35th Annual Gala. I have been able to visit the Bylaws of Austin Smiles and give my feedback on what could be improved on how other organizations have their Bylaws formatted that could help this incredible foundation. Overall, I have learned so much for the short amount of time that I have spent with this non-profit foundation. I can’t wait to take what I have learned from this organization and the leaders that help run it, into the world and running with it to help change the world as well.

Thank You Austin Smiles for the incredible opportunity you all have given me!

Jose Sandoval
Austin Smiles Global Public Health Intern
Summer 2021


1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

$250 covers the cost of one life-changing surgery

150 volunteers annually will change a child’s life forever

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Austin Smiles goes on 2-3 medical mission trips annually

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Our local program support for children born with Cleft Lip and Palate in Texas

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