Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Interning with AS – Leadership

Interning with Austin Smiles –


written by Camila Arroyo

Austin Smiles Global Public Health

Intern Spring 2022

My name is Camila Arroyo, and I am a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, studying Personal Communication and Human Dimensions of Organization.

I have been interning for Austin Smiles A Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate surgery nonprofit for the past few months. Through my time with Austin Smiles, I have learned the value of medicine, giving, and the importance of community.

Austin Smiles provides surgical and post-surgical care to children in Central TX and Latin America who are born with cleft lip and cleft palate. During my time here at Austin Smiles, they have sent medical volunteers such as plastic surgeons and oral surgeons as well as non-medical volunteers, to perform around 30 cleft surgeries in San Salvador, El Salvador. Currently, they are now planning for their next volunteer mission trip in Guatemala 2022 and potentially a trip to Peru in 2022.

I have had the honor to work hand by hand with the amazing women that lead Austin Smiles to help organize the next potential trip to Peru. I have learned so much about the effort and dedication that it takes to make these trips come alive! From researching hospitals, reaching out to patients, families and doctors, to fundraising for these projects to become reality, organizing these mission trips requires a lot of work. Yet, the effort does not go unnoticed. Austin Smiles is creating a significant impact on the lives of thousands of children, and each decision to move a trip forward only enhances the work.

Beyond learning the ins and outs of mission-led nonprofits, Austin Smiles has provided countless opportunities to learn and grow my communication skills. I have had the chance to improve my marketing, writing, and verbal communication skills through cold calling, networking, event planning & organizing, press-release writing, etc. Austin Smiles believes confidently in their interns, and their skills and assets. Therefore, it is no surprise that Austin Smiles has allowed me to take leadership roles within social media or marketing platforms. Through these roles, I have had the chance to prove my skills, as well as improve and grow them.

I am extremely thankful for my time at Austin Smiles, and even more, I am thankful for the work that they provide to children all over Central Texas and Latin America. I know Austin Smiles has a very bright future ahead, and I am grateful that I was able to help along the journey.

Camila Arroyo

Austin Smiles Spring 2022 Intern

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