Our summer intern, Catherine, with her little brother, Timothy

Catherine, our amazing summer intern, with her little brother, Timothy


This summer, Upstream Arts is honored to be working once again with Catherine Lee, an outstanding human being who has interned with us once before and whose family has a long history with Upstream Arts – Catherine’s dad, Jack, was one of our founding Board members! (You can check out his family blog here.) Catherine has been a huge help to our organization these past two summers, working skillfully through a wide variety of projects. Today we invited Catherine to take a break and share a few words about herself, her interests, and why she’s been drawn to working with Upstream Arts. Enjoy!

Hi! My name is Catherine Lee and this is my second summer as an intern for Upstream Arts. I will be a junior at Edina High School this fall. I play soccer competitively year round, and my biggest passions include learning and traveling. In terms of future careers, I have lots of ideas, with the common thread being that I would like to have a job that is focused on working with and helping other people.

Three years ago, my younger brother Timothy was born, with the chromosomal abnormality Down Syndrome. Having a family member with a disability has made me much more aware and conscious of disability in our community and how it is treated. As I near the end of high school, I’ve thought a lot about what my role will be in my community as an adult. I joined Upstream Arts because I felt it would not only give me experience in working, but it would also help me become more conscious of others and especially how those with disabilities are treated in the broader community.

I feel that being a part of Upstream Arts has helped me to benefit the community in many positive ways, including making me a more understanding person who is much better able to meet people where they are. In addition, my time at Upstream Arts has taught me about disability on a worldwide scale. For example, I did a project last year where I searched the internet for facts and trivia about disability for the Upstream Arts website and social media. This greatly broadened my knowledge about disability and provided me with some time to read various articles and websites with information on this topic. While at Upstream Arts, I have enjoyed doing a large range of jobs in and outside of the office. I’ve painted walls, helped lead programs, worked on the Upstream Arts website, organized archives, and done grant research, to name just a few tasks I’ve completed.

I look forward to helping out at the office until mid-August, so if you’re passing through, feel free to say hi!