Grzegorz Nowak ’15, Princeton Education Foundation

Adrienne Rubin and Grzegorz

On Thursday, March 29th, I walked down Witherspoon Street, made a right onto Valley Road, and entered the Princeton Public Schools Administrative Building for the first day of my Princeternship with the Princeton Education Foundation. The Princeton Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports excellence in education in the Princeton Public Schools and has contributed over $1,000,000 to the Princeton Public Schools since its inception in 1995.   I was met in the lobby by Adrienne Rubin (Music ’88), the Executive Director of the Princeton Education Foundation.  As we headed upstairs to the alum’s office, I learned that Mrs. Rubin is the first and only employee of the Princeton Education Foundation.  The remainder of the Princeton Education Foundation is a group of volunteers that make up the Board of Members.  I quickly realized that the Princeternship was going to be a special experience when Mrs. Rubin told me how working for a nonprofit is rewarding by knowing that you are doing something good for the community and seeing the positive change you are making.  Although the work keeps you busy and can be difficult, it is something that gets you up in the morning excited, which is what every job should do for a person. 

Mrs. Rubin set me up working on a project for the Princeton Education Foundation’s annual Spring Gala, the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser.  I entered donors into an Excel spreadsheet so that the information can be entered into a larger database.  I saw that the generous donations from the supportive community were what kept the Princeton Education Foundation doing the great things that it was for the Princeton Public Schools.  While the Princeton Public Schools received funding from taxes, this was only able to do so much.  The Princeton Education Foundation helped take the Princeton Public Schools from adequacy to excellence. 

After going on a Breakout Trip where I had the incredible opportunity of working with nonprofits providing health care to undocumented and uninsured patients in Los Angeles the week before my Princeternship, it was inspiring to see how another nonprofit can positively impact its community.   During my second and final day of the Princeternship, I had the fun task of creating a brochure for the Princeton Education Foundation, which helped me learn why the Princeton Education Foundation does the great work that it does.  A quote from a video created by the Princeton Education Foundation, “We all get into this business because we want to help kids, you see every kid shine,” will surely stay in the back of my head as I realized that by working hard to positively impact something you are passionate about you can do amazing things for those around you.  I look forward to the moment I find an issue that I love so deeply I can also do nonprofit work and make a positive impact.

The Princeternship program is special because even after only a few hours, the alum made me feel connected to the Princeton alumni community.  I love helping others achieve their dreams because I know there were many people that helped me get to where I am.  I am very glad and thankful someone as friendly and nice as Mrs. Rubin was there to share her experiences and work with me.  I plan on continuing the great tradition of Princeton alumni by helping future Princetonians figure out their passions when I am an one day an alumnus.