I’m halfway through my internship experience already, and I can’t believe it! The youth I’ve been working with are just fantastic, and we’ve been growing closer and closer. There is a total of fifteen youth in the Youth Building Communities program and three interns/counselors. They were split up into three groups of five to one counselor and got to choose a name their crew would be referred to for the duration of the summer. The youth that were assigned to my group choose to be called “team goat.” What “goat” stands for is Greatest Of All Time, I couldn’t help but laugh and be impressed by their creativity. Needless to say, I am very proud to be the sixth member of team goat!
Every Thursday we take a field trip around Boston, and last week we took a trip to Roller World in Saugus. I hadn’t been skating since I was about sixteen; so almost as young as they are. A few of them stayed with me while I practiced and showed me some pointers. Then, it was time to hit the rink! We skated for over two hours while they whipped around the rink dancing, laughing, and sometimes poking fun at my less than superior skating skills. They called me over to eat because a small group had been saving a seat for me. I always enjoy these times the most because they ask me about my life and try to figure out who this girl is that comes in everyday all the way from Waltham. They seem to be unafraid of the world, excited about whatever it is to come, and they never seem as if they’re worried about tomorrow, because right now is all that matters to them. Sometimes I sit back and wish that adults were more like these twelve year old children, seeing the world through their eyes is a privilege I definitely appreciate.
YBC (youth building communities) also takes part in a community service initiative every Tuesday. This past Tuesday we were working with members of the Emerald
Necklace Conservatory. The kids helped weed the bushes, mulch the floor, and pick up around the park. We split them into two different groups, and got to work. We played a name game with the members before starting the project of the day, which served as a way for everyone to learn everyone’s name. The youth warmed up to the members rather quickly and started gravitating to them while they were working. I was really happy that we got to participate in such a positive program, and give back to the community at the same time.
Tuesdays are also our pool days were the youth are permitted to swim for an hour and a half. During this time, whoever doesn’t want to swim can lounge around or play UNO, the card game. At RTH Uno is a very serious game, none of the youth take it lightly. We actually play elimination rounds and the last person in the game isn’t permitted to play the next round. We do this until we get to a “championship round.” I made it to this round and ended up winning the title of “Uno Champion of RTH.” My title has since been challenged but I’m holding the lead. The youth are exceptionally good at this game, so I don’t know hold long it may last.
I have just completed my first week as a youth development intern at the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard. On my first day my supervisor took me on a tour of the Mission Hill property and explained to me how their organization is run. We also discussed his background in Non- Profit work and the skills one needs to acquire in order to hold a senior/executive position.
One of my personal objectives for my summer internship was learning about the business aspects of Non-Profits. I’m interested in social services as well as business. This is why I thought it would be beneficial to get some hands on experience at a Non-Profit organization this summer. My supervisor has agreed to go over the budget with me, as well as allow me to sit in on staff meetings so I can see how executive decisions are made. I feel incredibly fortunate to be working with someone who is invested in my experience and wants me to get everything I possibly can during my time here. He told me he would share all he knew with me, and he has been keeping his word. Every morning I report to him and check in, he asks me questions and makes sure I have help completing the necessary objectives for the day.
I work directly with two youth development staff during the day in the Teen Department. I’m also finding that it isn’t difficult to connect with the youth, I’ve kept the conversation generally casual and I think they appreciate that. I don’t crowd them but let them come to me instead, and I’ve found that this is a effective way to connect with most of them. The girls seem so much more shy than the boys, so I’ve gone a little out of my way so that everyone knows I’m available to them, while still being approachable. I’m so happy that things have been going as smoothly as they have, and that the staff as well as the youth have welcomed me into their space. Looking forward to all the good things to come over the summer!and we’ve been creating an agenda for the summer. So far, we’ve scheduled field trips, basketball tournaments, job readiness workshops, and fun activities for the kids to do during the day. I’ve met quite a bit of the youth I’ll be working with throughout the summer and I was surprised to see how quickly they have warmed up to me. The kids in the program (youth building communities) are between the ages of 11 and 14, so this is a critical age for them. I’m very much looking forward to working with them over the summer and building relationships. At first I was a little concerned about the relatively small age difference between the kids in the program and myself. I’m sure to them I seem young, and sometimes teenagers can see this as a reason to see me as one of their peers. Thankfully though, the staff has introduced me to the youth as well as their parents as part of the staff so I haven’t had any issues with my authority thus far.
I’m also finding that it isn’t difficult to connect with the youth, I’ve kept the conversation generally casual and I think they appreciate that. I don’t crowd them but let them come to me instead, and I’ve found that this is a effective way to connect with most of them. The girls seem so much more shy than the boys, so I’ve gone a little out of my way so that everyone knows I’m available to them, while still being approachable. I’m so happy that things have been going as smoothly as they have, and that the staff as well as the youth have welcomed me into their space. Looking forward to all the summer has to offer.