First off, stop reading this for a minute and go vote if you haven’t already!

We are all excited for this upcoming year and all the goals Katie has presented for her team to help her achieve. As a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am extremely excited to be joining Katie’s team as an intern for this spring semester, and with high hopes, the rest of the year. Because one of my learning expeeriences for this semester includes exploring the impact of social media in nonprofits, Katie has asked me to help update the Tri 4 Schools blog and take this opportunity to introduce myself.

My name is Jennifer Blatz and I am a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, I am pursuing a degree in Community and Nonprofit Leadership and Sociology. The major, Community and Nonprofit Leadership is a business management degree for nonprofit organizations and balanced with leadership concepts. While my classes keep me very busy, I also find time to be an active participant in two different clubs. First, I serve as the community relations chair for the club Community and Nonprofit Leadership. The school organization planted its roots last semester and we will begin growing. Second, I serve as the community partnership chair for the UW-Madison Collegiate Association for Fundraising Professionals, a club for learning about different fundraising efforts used by nonprofit organizations. Every year we send out a proposal asking for nonprofits to apply with hopes in partnering with them for the school year. I serve as the liason between the club and the community partner that we choose. This is how I met Katie, learned about Tri 4 Schools, fell in love with their work, and asked to be an intern for the semester.

Nonprofit organizations have always been a part of my life and it was an ideal always present in my household. My mother and grandmother taught me the importance of helping others and working hard for what you believe in. This led me to always participate in opportunities to help others. I have attended three mission trips to northern Wisconsin and have done lots of activities with kids. Upon entering college, I knew my future included this line of work and further down the road, staring my own nonprofit organization. This is the reason why Tri 4 Schools appealed to me so much. It was fairly new and very successful so far. I wanted an internship opportunity that showed me how a nonprofit gets off its feet. Also, Katie is such a wonderful person with great communication skills and the willingness to share her knowledge. I am so grateful she has included me in part of her journey.

The mission of Tri 4 Schools hits close to home for me as well. Throughout school, I struggled with my weight and had always tried to find a better way to change my lifestyle. I was on the dance and volleyball team for a couple years in high school, but afterwards never found a successful outlet to change to healthier lifestyle. I only wish now that a program like Katie’s Tri 4 Schools exsisted to show me how fun running, biking, and swimming is, and provide a to further educate about nutrition within my school. I believe in the Tri 4 Schools mission and am very confident her program will make a difference in many lives. Even now, I struggle with my weight and Tri 4 Schools has made a difference in my life already. I am currently registered to run my first 5K in March and am very excited to represent Tri 4 Schools.

Even though I am very passionate about working to make a difference in the world, I am also very passionate about my family. I grew up in a small town near the Sheboygan area with my parents and my two younger sisters. I was fortunate enough to have family very close growing up. Throughout my life, my grandma became my best friend and supports me in all my dreams. Even though I come from a home of divorced parents, this life event has only created a stronger relationshop between my sisters and I. They are my whole world now! I miss them so much and am so proud of them. My belief is that doing good for others brings nothing but good things to you. I believe this because on one of the mission trips I mentioned earlier, I met my boyfriend of 6.5 years and he has brought me nothing but happiness. When I get very passionate about a cause, he does as well. His name is Jon and you might see him at some of the events! He is studying business and in our free time we really enjoy watching movies together.

Enough about me for now! I want to say thank you for welcoming me into this family and I look forward to all the work, experiences, and memories I will make this semester!