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Summer at Kresge: Alaya Freeman combines her passion for communications with making a difference

General Foundation News

It is easy to see Alaya Freeman’s passion for helping others through her work.

As a summer undergraduate intern with The Kresge Foundation’s External Affairs and Communications team this summer, she’s working with the team to share the story and impact of the foundation’s work. The team uses a full complement of communications tools and channels to advance the foundation’s mission to expand opportunities in America’s cities.

Freeman has worked on a handful of projects, including producing a newsletter welcoming Kresge’s new hires, publishing the Summer at Kresge intern series and assisting with social media and daily communications tasks.

“What excited me about applying to the foundation was the opportunity to do what I love every day. What also excited me was Kresge’s work to make a difference in communities and promote human progress. This mission is admirable and something that I wanted to be a part of,” Freeman said.

Originally from Auburn Hills, Michigan, she is a graduate of Oakland University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and minor in business.

Before coming to Kresge, Freeman spent a year working on social media management, event photography, videography and article writing at Oakland University’s College of Arts and Sciences. However, it was her involvement with Tiny Homes Detroit, a nonprofit agency focused on alleviating poverty by providing programs for food, health, housing and jobs, that taught her how to use her passion for a greater purpose.

“The first time I worked with a nonprofit organization was with Tiny Homes Detroit in high school. There I worked with a team to create a video highlighting the work done at the organization. That is where I first felt passionate about the work I was doing because I had the opportunity to see the impact of our work and be a part of something bigger than myself,” Freeman said. “After taking my first communications course in college, I felt that same passion again and knew that was a path I wanted to take. The course taught me that communications is a diverse field where I can combine my love for media and writing with service to the community.”

She hopes to leave the foundation with a better understanding of the role internal and external communications plays in a philanthropic nonprofit organization. She also hopes to further her understanding of how Kresge functions internally in each department and aims to contribute to her team’s mission.

Once Freeman completes her time at Kresge, she will continue to work in the field of communications before returning to graduate school to further her education.