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Wish Blog

Oct 19, 2018

Intern Spotlight- Ryan Hirokane

Ryan and his fellow summer 2018 interns at Wine for Wishes
At Make-A-Wish Hawaii, we have the privilege of working with the next generation of nonprofit leaders: our interns. They come to us with diverse backgrounds, skills, and areas of interest, but they all share a passion for our mission and leave a lasting impact on our wish kids, volunteers, and staff. One intern who has gone above and beyond in this respect is Ryan Hirokane.

A senior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Ryan is currently completing his second term as a Make-A-Wish Hawaii corporate relations intern. As part of the Development Department, Ryan has primarily assisted with fundraising campaigns and events. With his charismatic, positive attitude and relationship-building skills, Ryan has not only developed relationships on behalf of our team within the community, but he’s also been a driving force in uniting his fellow interns around the power of a wish.

“Ryan brings incredible energy and enthusiasm into our office,” said Corporate Relations Manager Arden Salassa. “He has a heart for our mission and has gone above and beyond to support our entire organization. We have been so lucky to have Ryan as an intern and look forward to seeing him flourish in a future career.”

As we prepare to welcome a new class of interns for the spring semester, we sat down with Ryan to get his perspective on interning with Make-A-Wish Hawaii and the difference it can make both personally and professionally.

Why did you want to intern with Make-A-Wish Hawaii?

I wanted to intern with Make-A-Wish Hawaii because of the amazing things that the organization has done for not only for kids but also their family and friends alike. I knew that I wanted to be part of something with a bigger purpose and something that helped others. My first job was teaching tennis to children, and to see the joy and success that each kid had made me want to continue in that line of work. Make-A-Wish Hawaii provided me that opportunity to provide joy and happiness to children in bigger ways.

This is actually your second semester interning with us. What made you choose to come back?

I chose to return to Make-A-Wish Hawaii because of the impact that I was able to have. Even as an intern, I was still [able to] create such a huge impact on others while being able to learn and further myself as a college student. The knowledge and expertise that I was able to gain through this internship will have an impact throughout the rest of my life. I am forever grateful to the staff here at Make-A-Wish Hawaii for letting me be part of such an amazing mission.

What have been some of your favorite experiences during your internship so far?

I think the best part of my time spent at Make-A-Wish Hawaii was attending wish events and being able to see firsthand kids receiving their one true wish. The joy on the faces of the kids and the rest of their family is something that will never be forgotten.

What are your future career goals? How will your internship with Make-A-Wish Hawaii help you to achieve them?

My future career goal is to work in corporate relations or marketing for a nonprofit organization once I graduate. Make-A-Wish Hawaii has provided me with vast knowledge in the business industry, which helped me grow professionally and personally. From this internship I was able to understand how an organization is run and operated. One of the most important take-aways from this experience is how important teamwork is in an organization.

What advice do you have for future interns?

A piece of advice for future interns would be to take in the experience and to participate in everything that you are able to. Every small thing that you do still has an impact toward the mission of Make-A-Wish Hawaii. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when given the opportunity. An internship like this will be able to help you grow personally and professionally. 

Interested in interning with us? Learn more here.

About this Blog

Wish Blog gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the wonderful work happening at Make-A-Wish® Hawaii. See how the wishes of local keiki battling critical illnesses come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or from those in your neighborhood who have been transformed by a wish in some way. Discover why we are so committed to achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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Make-A-Wish® Hawaii
P.O. Box 1877
Honolulu, HI 96805
(808) 537-3118 x100