College Interns & Volunteers: Paved the Way for 2016

I don’t know what I’d do without our college interns and volunteers.   Last year, we had 3 extraordinary young women dedicate their talents and energy to our cause. Due to their remarkable efforts throughout 2015, Healing Icons became more visible.  The ground has been set, ready to receive our goal for 2016 – the launch of our very first e-Course.

Meet Our College Interns and Volunteers

Charlotte Johnson: 20th Anniversary Video Photo Journal



Our Wonderful, creative Volunteer, Charlotte Johnson

Our Wonderful, creative Volunteer, Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte is pursuing a degree Visual Communications and Media Arts at the University of South Carolina.  Her focus is on film and design. She works at the Nickelodeon (Columbia’s only independent movie theater) and interns for the USC Cancer Research Center. She focused her Advanced Photo-Composition final on Healing Icons’ 20th Anniversary by making a multimedia story on our nonprofit.  I am thankful she dedicated countless hours filming the creation of the Community Healing Sand Mandala created by the Tibetan monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery. 

Her interests include Kendama (a Japanese wooden skill toy), camping, socks, film/music and creating!  I was intrigued. Kendama?  A bit of googling taught me that  Kendama (けん玉 ?, also written as 剣玉 and 拳玉) is a traditional Japanese toy consisting of a ken (sword) and tama (ball) connected by a string. The ken has three cups and a spike which fits into the hole in the ball.  If you were ever a Yo-Yo fan, you will love this.  I do and have ordered one for all of my family members! Thanks, Charlotte, for all you have given to us!  I love bumping into Charlotte at “The Nick,” our favorite movie house in Columbia!  Charlotte will graduate in May of 2016.


Alivia Seely : Social Media & Publicity

Interns and Volunteers - A Saturday Morning Breakfast Meeting at Drip in 5 Points.

Interns and Volunteers – Meet Alivia. Here we are at one of our Saturday Morning Breakfast Meetings at Drip in 5 Points.

“My name is Alivia Seely. I am a junior writing for print and digital media major at Columbia College. I am also a member of the Fighting Koalas Golf Team and the English Majors Society.  I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and moved to Columbia, South Carolina to start college and experience new things in a new place.  So far there has not been much regret in that decision.  I have enjoyed my education and time spent here. I hope to take my degree and pursue a job in online publishing and layout design for magazines. I have a huge interest in fashion, art, music, travel and I adore Disney World. My roommate and I went there for Spring Break last year.

With this internship, working with Heidi and Healing Icons, I hope to share what this organization is all about though a productive and manageable online presence.”

Our Intern participates in our Spring Retreat

Alivia Seely, our intern, participates in our Spring Retreat


And she did!  Alivia not only boosted our social media presence by developing a solid campaign but she designed and implemented a small research study on the effectiveness of an art as healing program.  Frank Berger of USC’s Center for Colon Cancer Research advised us on this successful project.  Alivia assisted me during several of our 6-week offerings as well as our all-day retreats, interviewing students and filming the process.


Out of this, she created this wonderful You-Tube short for us. 

Alivia creates a Healing Icon for her mother during our all day Spring Retreat.

Alivia creates a Healing Icon for her mother during our all day Spring Retreat.



Unfortunately, that same spring her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.   Being so far away from her mother was very difficult but we were able to lend her some support and it was reassuring to have met so many survivors during her time with us.  Alivia’s participation in our Spring Retreat: Cultivating Optimism During Difficult Times allowed to step into her creativity and reflect on her mother’s diagnosis.  She created a beautiful mixed media Healing Icon for her mother. We are happy to report that her mom’s treatment is almost over and she is doing well. Alivia will graduate April 30th and we have no doubt she will continue to do great things in the world!



Jessika Markland: E-Course Public Relations Campaign

Dedicated, impassioned volunteer Jessika Markland.

Interns and Volunteers. Dedicated.  Impassioned. Jessika Markland.


“I graduated from the University of South Carolina in December 2015. Prior to receiving my degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, I completed a public relations campaign surrounding the upcoming launch of Creating Brave™, Healing Icons’ very first eCourse.

After loosing my mother to cancer in November 2014, I knew I wanted to direct some of my time and energy into a cause I believed in. I found Healing Icons® googling around one afternoon.  During the 11 week course, I conducted a research questionnaire about the eCourse, planned a print and social media campaign as well as the tactics on now and when to implement.  I have left Healing Icons® with an evaluation tool that can be used after the launch date Creating Brave™.

I am originally from New Jersey and I spend my free time reading, cooking and traveling. I hope to move to Charleston in the future for a career in Public Relations.”

After Jessika returned from her Christmas break and celebrating her graduation, she delivered a three-inch think, three-ring binder to my doorstep.  It contained every detail of the PR Campaign proposal she had created under the guidance of her Professor,  Lisa Sisk.   To have this along, with what Riggs Partners created for us during the 2015 CreateAthon, well, we are “off to the races.”

Thank you Charlotte, Alivia, and Jessika!

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