20 years ago, Frank Ash had a very special birthday. But instead of another golf shirt or other memento, he had a very different idea of the present he would like to receive. This present translated into a gift for our community and our future.
Thanks to Frank’s gift, this summer marks the 20th year of the Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship program. Two decades of providing 238 college students with an opportunity to intern at a Jewish non-profit agency, learn about Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish community, and gain the experience of giving back.
What started out as a program with two interns has grown to include 16+ interns a year. Ash never dreamt it could be so successful.
“In my charitable endeavors, it was the best thing I’ve done in my life,” he said.
As the success of the program continues, many of the interns each summer are coming from referrals and the same families.
“It shows how important the experience was in their lives,” said Frank.
When asked if he had a favorite memory from the internship program over the years, Ash responded by saying that every year is a great experience.
“The graduations are always a treat for me. They are such great kids. I get letters every year from the kids expressing their appreciation.”
Over the past 20 years, Frank has raised over $1 million for the Ash program. His unwavering dedication to young adults in the Jewish community ensures that the Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship program will continue for a long time.
The Impact of the Ash Internship Program
Annette Dvorak was an Ash intern in 2011 and worked in the communications and public affairs department at JEVS Human Services. As a college student studying marketing at the University of Maryland, Dvorak was looking to gain real-world marketing experience that she could apply to future jobs after college.
“I thought that my placement was super relevant to me,” she said. “It was great working with a team that was invested in helping me to learn.”
In addition to receiving work experience and professional guidance, Dvorak also had the opportunity to mentor a high school student in the Lasko College Prep Program.
“It’s a wonderful and valuable way to spend a summer during college,” she said.
After graduating from college, Dvorak lived in Israel for four years, initially as a participant on Masa’s Career Israel program, followed by working in marketing/communications for Pravda Media Group, and later a market intelligence tech startup called SimilarWeb. Currently, she is working as an account manager for Riskified in New York.
Even though Dvorak graduated from the program eight years ago, she is still in touch with the program staff and her internship supervisor. In fact, 96 percent of Ash program alumni stay connected with the program staff through social media, phone calls and office visits.
“It’s so nice to still have that connection I built so many years ago while in the Ash program,” said Dvorak.
Zach Weitz was an Ash intern this year in the JEVS’s communications and public affairs department. Read about his Summer in the Ash Internship Program and what he’s taking away from this experience in his blog HERE.
In the News
This week, The Jewish Exponent published a story on the 20th Anniversary of the Franklin C. Ash Internship Program and its impact on young adults in the Jewish community. Read the article HERE.