JDRF Interns – Baylie Farris

This past Spring and Summer, we here at JDRF Middle TN were SO fortunate to have not one – but TWO – amazing interns! Both of these ladies went above and beyond in their duties to help us out here at the office and at events! We asked both ladies to write a quick blog about their experience with us here at JDRF so we could share it with all our supporters!

Today, we’ll hear from Baylie Farris. Baylie interned with JDRF from June to August! Here’s what she had to say about her experience with us!

“Nothing short of thankful. The lyrics to one of my favorite Avett Brother songs echoes through my mind when I think of my time at The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Middle Tennessee.  In the oh too short months I was able to intern, I accumulated an internship experience unlike any other. And guess what, I didn’t even get sent out for a coffee run once!

What started out as a leap of faith email to an organization dear to my heart, turned into a summer experience I wish I could grant to all my fellow Communications students wishing to jump into the Non-Profit organization world. This summer has brought far too many reasons to be thankful to name them all but here’s a few that I believe sum up my invaluable JDRF internship experience.


Thankful for hands-on learning experience.

When you walk into the JDRF Middle Tennessee chapter office, you’ll find a cozy space, some of the sweetest, most dedicated and powerful women and a vivacious buzz you won’t be able to help but catch. Though this office be small, it is mighty and it is fierce. With all hands-on deck, there is nothing this team of five can’t do.

The small numbers definitely gave me an advantage. I constantly felt part of the team and was able to learn side-by-side of these mentors through tasks and jobs given to me. I never felt like I was just doing “busy work.” I could always be sure that anything I was doing was truly important to the operation of JDRF.

Through this experience I was able sharpen to my computer skills and learn new tricks that make navigating Word and Excel a more efficient and less stressful process. I helped update tracking systems necessary for JDRF to function smoothly including Emma Marketing, Team Tracker, JDRF Promise Gala documents and others.

I learned what it takes to pull off an event from start to finish through sending mailings, communicating over the phone, preparing for and packing for events, setting up/tearing down and all the fun in between!

My communication skills grew immensely through this internship. From making over one hundred calls to JDRF supporters advertising an event, to emailing and communicating with businesses about sponsorships, to face-to-face connection opportunities with families and individuals effected by Type One, my communication skill set was definitely strengthened.


Thankful to work with people who inspire and incite change.

Those 5 women I talked about earlier? They are changing the fate for those with Type One Diabetes. Every single one of them has Type One; it’s personal for them just like it is for me. They get it and that’s why they are so good at what they do. It’s why they raise that extra thousand dollars for Walk or Gala. It’s why they reach out and comfort that family who just received their T1D diagnosis.

In the short time I’ve been able to work with these women, I have seen so much heart and dedication pouring from each one. Knowing them and seeing how hard they work

gives me hope and confidence that we will find a cure.


Thankful for a newfound T1D family.

For so long, I had tried to hide my Diabetic identity. I never wanted to talk about living with this disease, I didn’t want anyone to see me testing my blood sugar or changing out a pump site. A year ago, I would’ve never thought I could feel so empowered by this disease. Because of JDRF and my experiences this summer, I can proudly say that I have Type One Diabetes. It doesn’t define or own me and I am stronger because of it.

I am fighting every single day and now I know I am not alone in my fight. I am so thankful for this organization and this chapter for all the hard work they put in to the fight with me.

What an amazing journey it has been to be able to work and learn alongside those in my Diabetic community while learning valuable lessons and skills I will need for my future career. I have been so blessed by this office and all that I have gained and experienced. I am nothing short of thankful.”



We are so thankful for interns like Baylie here at JDRF!

If you, or someone you know, is looking for an internship and is interested interning with JDRF please email Victoria Cumbow for more information!