Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Interning with AS – Reeya P.

Interning with AS – Reeya P.

By Reeya Patel

Having the opportunity to intern with Austin Smiles has been such an amazing experience. I recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health. Currently, I am a graduate student at UTHealth School of Public Health pursuing a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology. Today, more than ever, the influence and importance of public health is being recognized. I joined Austin Smiles in order to spread awareness of this importance while also being a part of the group of individuals that make a significant impact on global health today. After my time here, it was proven that Austin Smiles works hard each and every day to diminish health disparities around the world.

Towards the beginning of my internship, we were nearing our Guatemala 2022 trip. Because of this, I was able to witness the process of how these non-profit organizations get ready for their medical mission trips. I was intrigued by the different factors that came with the planning and organizing of this trip. I also had the opportunity to help out with the organizing and packing of different medical supplies which allowed me to learn about certain supplies and equipment that I was not previously exposed to.

One of my favorite things about working with Austin Smiles was the variety of projects and tasks that were assigned to us. From grant writing and event planning, to fundraising, I was able to learn about the daily tasks that come with working at a non-profit. I, alongside the other interns, also had the opportunity to sit in on a board meeting where we were able to witness the process of yearly budget and event planning. This was definitely a first for me so it was interesting to see what it took to run an effective board meeting. Overall, Renee and Ellise did a great job in tailoring these tasks to our interests which made working here even more enjoyable!

Coming from a public health background, I had such an amazing time seeing what I learned throughout my education occur in reality within the organization. This was a great opportunity and I hope to use the skills that I have picked up on during my time here within the near future!

austin-smiles-intern - Reeya P. photo


Reeya Patel, Global Public Health Intern Fall 22

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

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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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