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Staff Spotlights: Nika Schoonover

Prior to interning at Picking Me Foundation, I had honestly never heard of Dermatillomania (Skin Picking Disorder). I am so grateful, however, that I ended up at this nonprofit for the last few months and for all the ways in which it has exposed me to the significance of this disorder. As a Social Media Intern, I was immersed into the lives of people surrounding the community. There was a time in particular, I remember, I was able to witness the power a company such as this has on impacting sufferers and supporters alike. When I was helping out at Wingfest, a women and her significant other had been passing ourĀ table when the woman stopped to read the sign we had on display. Tears slowly began filling her eyes and it was not long after that I realized she had just discovered that this disorder had a name. Her partner and her began listening intently as we told them about the foundation, realizing more and more that this thing she had been been suffering with was distinguishable. It was tangible. This was the first time I had fully witnessed the impact this company has on others: it provides people with answers and resources for a difficult disorder that many have been struggling with blindly and without direction.

It was not only the people outside the company that made this experience at Picking Me so wonderful, it was the people I worked with at the office as well. Lauren McKeaney, Picking Me Foundation's CEO, was of course a massive reason that I've enjoyed working here for the past few months. Her passion and excitement for her company and the cause is incredibly infectious as is clearly seen in the energy she seems to inciteĀ in the people around her. I'm incredibly grateful that I was given the opportunity to help the Picking Me team and cause for the past few month and I hope to carry this experience with me in tho the future.