Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund West Region students and supporters may have noticed a new face assisting with fund development activities.

That’s Haylee Moore! She’s a graphic design major at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith who is spending her summer interning at ASPSF thanks to a partnership between Tyson Foods Inc. and United Way of Fort Smith Area.

Haylee Moore (second row, farthest left) is enrolled with 21 other interns in the Tyson Summer Community Internship Program in partnership with United Way of Fort Smith Area. 

The Tyson Summer Community Internship Program provides paid internship opportunities at nonprofits for college students. This year, Tyson generously funded 22 internships in the River Valley. Students applied through the United Way, which evaluated and matched interns to local organizations.

A Fort Smith native, Haylee said she applied for ASPSF’s development assistant position because of her personal connection to its mission of supporting single parents build a new future for their families through education.

“My mom was a single mom when she went to college,” Haylee said. “When my parents got married, my dad went to college, so I have experienced both aspects of a parent going back to school. I remember how hard it was for both of them.”

Assisting ASPSF

During her internship, Haylee is helping ASPSF Development Manager Abbie Taylor Cox for about 35 hours a week with outreach activities to further ASPSF’s relationships with businesses, schools, and single parent students in the River Valley.

ASPSF Development Assistant and Intern Haylee Moore (left) and ASPSF West Region Program Manager Sandy Nelson volunteer at the United Way Classic. 

For example, Haylee and Abbie volunteered at the Third Annual United Way Classic golf tournament fundraiser in early June. They also toured the Fort Smith Public Schools’ Peak Innovation Center, visited potential sponsors for ASPSF Logan County’s 10th annual golf tournament in July, and reorganized past student and donor data.

“I am so impressed with Haylee!” Abbe said. “She wants to learn every aspect of how the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund operates and what makes our program so successful, with a 94% success rate here in the River Valley. I am so grateful for the fresh perspective Haylee provides. She asks questions that allow me to see things with a different lens. I have learned so much from her, and I’m thankful to Tyson and our United Way for this partnership.” 

ASPSF Development Manager Abbie Taylor Cox (left) and ASPSF Development Assistant and Intern Haylee Moore (third from left), receive a tour of Peak Innovation Center by Fort Smith Public Schools staff. 

Haylee said the biggest takeaway from her experience so far at ASPSF is seeing how much the organization cares about single parent students.

“They’re constantly reaching out, checking in with students,” Haylee said. “Abbie is constantly thinking about the students. We passed by a car dealership, and Abbie turned our car around to see if the business would host a workshop. People donate easily to ASPSF because the organization is so student-centered.”

Professional Development

The Tyson Summer Community Internship Program also includes educational sessions conducted by the United Way of Fort Smith Area. Like ASPSF, the program supports students’ professional growth so they’re equipped to enter a career with the soft skills needed to succeed.

In one educational session, the interns learned how to have a conversation, Haylee said. For an entire day, they practiced talking to each other, asking questions to discover how to make connections with anyone they meet.

ASPSF Development Assistant and Intern Haylee Moore meets with Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins. 

In another session, they took a personality test, which showed them their workplace strengths and weaknesses, their stress behaviors, and careers that would make a good match for their personality.

“This internship program is pushing me out of my comfort zone,” Haylee said. “I’m learning how to make connections, meet new people, develop new skills, and further my current skills.”

She added that when she graduates in a few semesters, she’ll now know how to cultivate clients and relationships if she becomes a graphic designer — or any other career she pursues. 

Thank you, Haylee, for supporting ASPSF’s single parent students! ASPSF works to break the cycle of poverty in single parent families by providing scholarships and support services — and this mission is only possible through collaboration and partnerships with institutions like Tyson and United Way of Fort Smith Area.  

ASPSF Development Assistant and Intern Haylee Moore (left) meets with ASPSF alumna and Logan County Public Library Branch Manager Brittany Downs. 

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