HARKER HEIGHTS – Ever since quarantine, working from home has become commonplace. Most TLT interns can be found scattered across North Texas. However, for one lively and loving intern, she happens to be three hours from the DFW area.
Sandra Desjardins lives out in Harker Heights, about three hours away from Denton where she attends Texas Woman’s University. Even with that distance, Desjardins still wants to be involved in the North Texas community.
“I fell in love with the town, I think it’s the cutest little town ever.”
After looking for opportunities, Desjardins found a position as a grant writer intern at TLT.
“I have no background in technical grant writing. I felt as though I had nothing to offer.”
Regardless of this, Desjardins worked together with her team of four and soon learned the intricacies of writing proposals and applying for grants. She learned about the research component of her position and how grant writing was more than just text.
“It’s about how passionate and how well you know your own organization. When you have to get down to the nuts and bolts, when you have to seriously describe the programs at TLT, you realize we are doing so much more than I originally thought.”
The most important lesson, however, she overcame her fear of being a burden to her team members by just being her.
“You still have your life experiences; nobody will see the world in your eyes. You have something to offer just by being you.”
Although her experience in grant writing is limited, writing is nothing new to her. Desjardins received a Master of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. She is also a published author writing in multiple genres like paranormal, sci-fi, and role-playing games.
Along with writing, Desjardins has always had a passion in volunteering. Volunteering at TLT is her first time working for a non-profit in North Texas, but that’s not the only first.
“I’ve never done community outreach with humans. This is my first venture helping two-legged, warm-blooded bodies because I’m always helping animals.”
Desjardins first started volunteering with Texas Humane Heroes, a non-profit that helped animals find a home. She would walk dogs, clean panels, bring food and for these fostered animals. With this experience, she plans to help the North Texas youth.
“I’ve always wanted to help at-risk youth. With an animal it is unconditional love, but when it comes to teenagers, I have to establish a relationship and trust together.”
Outside of TLT, Desjardins reached a milestone recently by being hired as a library assistant at Texas A&M. She has a new book on the way that she is excited for about paranormal love.
Although she came in with many worries, Desjardins’ bubbly personality and willingness to learn has helped her tremendously as a TLT intern. Desjardins drive to help her community resonates with TLT’s goals and values, however, to her, it is just natural.
“It is a part of me, I am a helper.”