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Driven by a ‘Desire to Leave an Impact’ on the World

August 12, 2021
Walton Family Foundation interns share their hopes for themselves and the next generation of leaders

Jacolbi Knowlton is driven by “a desire to leave an impact” on the places she lives and works. Me’Auna Bailey is motivated by learning “how I can make a difference in this world.” RaNetra Hamilton believes that creating opportunity gives people “access to dreams they never thought were achievable.”

Jacolbi, Me’Auna and RaNetra shared their inspirations and hopes for the future during their work with the foundation as summer interns. Just as they learned from us, we learned from them.

We are delighted these University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff students chose to spend their summer break helping the foundation carry out its mission. As they continue their studies and embark on their next adventures, we spoke to them about their experiences as interns and what it meant to them.

Me’Auna Bailey

Me'Auna Bailey is studying business management at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee.

Studying: Junior, Majoring in Business Management.

Why are you interested in philanthropy?

Philanthropy allows you to make a difference in a way that can be more beneficial than most. It allows you to see a need and find the means to fill that need.

What has this internship opportunity meant to you?

It has been an amazing networking opportunity and has allowed me to put a name to some of the things I am passionate about and make a better plan for the future.

What’s been the most inspiring part of your internship?

The most inspiring part of the internship has been being around a group of people who push me to be better. My team has pushed me in ways I can’t fathom. I created friendships that will last beyond the summer.

The foundation’s mission is to create access to opportunity for people and communities. Why do you think that’s important?

We all deserve the opportunity to have the life we see for ourselves. Creating those diverse opportunities for diverse people helps ensure the foundation’s mission is fulfilled.

What are you most passionate about learning — personally or professionally — and why?

I’m most passionate about learning how I can make a difference in this world in the most effective way possible.

Jacolbi Knowlton

Jacolbi Knowlton is majoring in business marketing at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Hometown: Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Studying: Junior, Majoring in Business Marketing.

Why are you interested in philanthropy?

Like many, I am driven by a desire to leave an impact on the places I go. I was interested in exploring this sector to learn about different ways philanthropy can help improve the lives of others.

What has this internship opportunity meant to you?

This internship has allowed me the chance to get out of my comfort zone and dip my toe into the pool of the professional world. More than anything, it has taught me a lot about myself and the things I am capable of, and more importantly, the things I need to improve on. This opportunity has pushed me to be a better version of myself.

What’s been the most inspiring part of your internship?

The most inspiring part of this internship has been getting to meet so many amazing people and learn about the journeys that led them to where they are now. There are so many talented, hard-working people in this foundation and hearing their stories makes me hopeful for my own future.

The foundation’s mission is to create access to opportunity for people and communities. Why do you think that’s important?

I believe that the advancement as us as a people will never be truly effective unless everyone is able to evolve together. As long as there are people left behind, there is more growing to do. It is important to share and create opportunities with our peers so that we can all grow together.

What are you most passionate about learning — personally or professionally — and why?

I am most passionate about learning how to live a life of purpose, impact and happiness. I believe that you can have concrete success, notable achievements and a life of fulfillment so long as you learn to balance everything well and, more importantly, stay true to yourself.

RaNetra Hamilton

RaNetra Hamilton is studying political science at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Studying: Junior, Majoring in Political Science.

Why are you interested in philanthropy?

I am interested in philanthropy because philanthropy adapts to current trends to best fit the needs of the people who benefit the most from it.

What has this internship opportunity meant to you?

This opportunity meant becoming comfortable and confident.

What’s been the most inspiring part of your internship?

The most inspiring part of this internship has been the staff. They are very supportive and they push us to reach for the stars.

The foundation’s mission is to create access to opportunity for people and communities. Why do you think that’s important?

I think it is important to create opportunity for people and communities because having opportunity allows people and communities to have access to dreams they never thought were achievable.

What are you most passionate about learning — personally or professionally — and why?

I am most passionate about learning history, personally and professionally. I believe history holds value to our current situation. By understanding what has happened in the past, you get a better insight on what to do in the future.

Walton Family Foundation summer interns (from left to right) RaNetra Hamilton, Me'Auna Bailey and Jacolbi Knowlton

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