Thursday, August 22, 2013

Not your typical internship

First day semi-candid shot

I met the other girls of the Change is Simple staff at an elementary school in Beverly, where I experienced my first program. I was a little nervous when I pulled into the school parking lot, not sure what to do now that I had arrived, or exactly how I would be helping with the program. Luckily I saw someone wearing a Change is Simple shirt, and went over and introduced myself to Kelly, meeting Hannah soon after. It was a bit intimidating, trying to help with a program that I, along with the kids, was also learning for the first time. But the two girls and Patrick were really helpful, giving me tasks to do and explaining the program to me. By the end of that day, I felt like I had officially become part of the team.

Since the very beginning, the Change is Simple staff has been very welcoming and helpful. Even though I didn’t know a lot about the nonprofit’s beginnings or its programs, I was still able to contribute from the very first day. In fact, my perspective as an outsider coming in has been very helpful. The staff would come to me wanting to know what questions I had as someone learning about Change is Simple for the first time. What could have been perceived as a weakness in other internship settings, being new to and gradually learning more about Change is Simple has actually been a strength. The team here has been supportive in fostering this view, and very appreciative of the contributions I have made throughout this summer.

Very quickly I learned that Change is Simple is not the typical internship experience. There are many reasons for this, but the major one is that we are not merely coworkers here— we are more like a family. Now that this summer is drawing to a close, I truly feel that I have become a part of this little, but growing, family. I am so grateful to the staff for this amazing experience, and for welcoming me with open arms. It makes it even more difficult saying goodbye, but I do so knowing I am always welcome back. We will see where life takes me!


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