My Perspective: Taylor Reed

TRBBDF’s intern, Taylor Reed, discusses her year and a half long internship. As she heads to graduate school, her dedication and hard work will be missed greatly at BBDF. Thanks for everything and good luck in your studies Taylor!


As of this May, I am a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Etched in stone outside the UT tower is the core purpose of my beloved university – “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society”. That, my friends, is a great purpose.

I have to admit I was a little burned out on non-profits when I began working at Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF). This was my fourth internship and I was starting to think the whole “internship” thing was just a scam to get college kids to answer the phone for free. How was I supposed to benefit society if no one would let me do anything?

Working at BBDF has been unique from the start. The foundation has created a well-defined plan to eradicate Batten disease. My job at the foundation has been to further that plan in any capacity possible. I’ve been able to use the skills I’ve learned at UT, as well as pursue projects in areas that are new to me. While at BBDF, I’ve planned fundraisers, advocated to the media, utilized scientific research, and learned more about tax exemptions than I ever imagined. I’ve grown as a professional, as a leader, and as a person because of my time here. I’ve been taught and guided by brilliant businesspeople, a neuroscientist, and community leaders.

My semester-long internship seamlessly evolved into an 18 month stay that I will never forget. Working here has reignited my passion for non-profit work and allowed me to use my skills to benefit an important cause. I am so proud to be a part of this foundation. This fall, I will begin graduate work for a Master’s in Health Organization Management. While I am sad to leave, I know the fight to eradicate Batten disease will continue stronger than ever. I will see a day when there is no longer a need for Beyond Batten Disease Foundation; a day when juvenile Batten disease no longer exists.

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