After working in Fina House for most of the summer I am having mixed emotions with my progress. I began the internship focused on two separate projects. One was working alongside the Family Counselor of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) and the other one was with the director of the Teen Parenting Program (TPP).
Our goal for the CAP was to create a type of physical activity program for the children who were victims of sexual assault to help manage their trauma. I contacted several different local organizations aimed at the creative arts, sports and academic support for young people. Arrangements have not been finalized for potential partnerships at this time. For the Child Advocacy Program my duties focused on office work as well as work on small projects with the family counselor for the kids.
The progress made with the Teen Parenting Program has me more excited. I have ventured away from only using the Preparing Adolescents for Young Adulthood (PAYA) material and have incorporated my own lessons into the workshop. I am using various materials that I find, such as, articles, videos online, and magazines, introducing topics that will spark interest and discussion amongst the girls. They all seem to enjoy the discussions and actively participate. It made me feel extremely happy and satisfied to have one of the girls admit she felt comfortable expressing herself about personal issues around me, that usually she never had the opportunity to do so. This taught me how important it is to establish the right atmosphere and a safe space so that all of the young women in the room felt that their opinions were valued and respected.
Next week I will begin weekly meetings with the director of TPP to discuss the content of the workshops and so that she may provide any materials or accommodations necessary for participants. I feel she has been open to discussing any problems/ideas thus far, and I am glad we will now have formal meetings.
Even though this internship is already halfway through I still believe that there is much to be done. I will continue working to explore possible partnerships for CAP. The staff at Fina is always welcoming of new ideas and I am always asking questions for any type of feedback or advice on how to improve the workshops.