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Refuge welcomes new intern

By REFUGE / DDWS - | Jan 13, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Intern Julie D'Agostino will help the DDWS with development and communications this season in support of the refuge.

Intern Julie D’Agostino recently arrived from Ohio to help the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge with staff shortages in the coming season, thanks to funding from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

D’Agostino received her bachelor’s degree in environmental geography from Ohio University in 2015. Her most recent job was corporate partnerships with the National Basketball Association, working with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Canton Charge teams, until she was laid off due to the pandemic.

“I’m stoked to have this opportunity to work in my field of study with skills I have experience in,” the Broadview Heights, Ohio, native said. “It gives me satisfaction knowing that I’m in a position where I can engage the community and teach people the importance of the environment. I look forward to growing my skills in graphic design and social media while learning more about the wildlife here.”

D’Agostino’s DDWS internship ends in June, but she hopes to be able to continue living in Florida and working in a field she is passionate about.

The DDWS provides living stipends and other benefits for more than a dozen interns each year. The refuge supports interns with free housing.

“Our interns bring youthful energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the refuge team,” DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller said. “At the same time, the program gives college students and recent graduates an opportunity to learn hands-on about the environment and refuge and non-profit operations. The interns fill in the gaps to support the refuge where government budgets fall woefully short.”

For more information on internships, contact Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland at 239-472-1100 ext. 237. To make a donation, contact Lynnae Messina at 239-472-1100 ext. 233.