Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Interning with AS – Family Fun Day

Interning with AS- Family Fun Day

By Leah Klein

My name is Leah Klein, and I am going to be a senior at UT Austin in the fall. I am pursuing a Public Health degree with a minor in Business. I could not be more honored to have had the opportunity to work at Austin Smiles this summer. I have absolutely loved my time here so far and have learned so much. One of the most amazing things about Austin Smiles is how dedicated each person who works or volunteers here is to improve the lives of others. I couldn’t have been surrounded by better people!

I got the opportunity to attend our Spring Family Fun Day which was hosted at Inner Space Caverns this year. We were able to eat breakfast together, tour the caves, and finish the day off with a zipline!

It was so amazing to be able to see all of the families come together and witness the children and family members support one another. Austin Smiles local programming focuses a lot on creating a community of support for both the children and the other family members. The age ranges of the kids who attend Austin Smiles’ four yearly social programming events truly runs the gamut, which is amazing because some of the younger kiddos have access to role models who can be a source of encouragement for them. We are also coming up on our Back-to-School event which is going to be held at Dave and Busters. We will enjoy games, trivia, and each child will get to pick out some books to start them off for the school year.

During my time so far at Austin Smiles, I have also really enjoyed being able to learn more about how a non-profit runs on a day-to-day basis. I believe Ellise and Renee did a great job of having all of us interns work on a ton of different projects, so that we could really expand our skill sets. I got to learn about grant writing and help apply to multiple grants. I also got to learn about how the yearly budget is handled, as well as attend a meeting with our annual gala committee. I am so happy that I have been able to spend my summer working for such an amazing organization!

austin-smiles-intern-leah-k photo

Leah Klein, Global Public Health Intern Summer 2022

The University of Texas at Austin


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

Austin Smiles - local services Camp Amigo photo

Medical Mission Trips

Austin Smiles goes on 2-3 medical mission trips annually

Austin Smiles - local services spring picnic photo

Our Local Services

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

Austin Smiles - local services sponsor locally photo

Sponsor a Child

Make a difference for a child in need