SERVE Vocational Exploration
Interning with Lutheran Community Services Northwest’s (LCSNW) International Counseling and Community Services (ICCS) program has given me invaluable insight into both the world of human services and into myself. I have had the opportunity to work in an office setting, witness the behind-the-scenes work of counselors and case managers, get to know the incredible stories of local refugees.
As a graduating senior at SPU, it has been interesting approaching this year in a significantly different way. The question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” has more depth, more importance. As graduation rounds the corner, I find myself in a restful state of peace because I have learned that the question is not “what” do I want to be but rather “who” do I want to be. My experience at PATH has proven to be one of the most influential times I have had at SPU.
For the past three months, I have been volunteering as an intern at the Crisis Clinic. As a phone worker on the 24-‐Hour Crisis Hotline, I help callers who are in an emotional crisis to identify coping strategies and find a solution to their crisis. Through this experience, I have learned so much about how to help people in crisis. One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to connect and empathize with callers
As a refugee resettlement intern at World Relief, I am blessed with the opportunity to walk along-side refugee families in their first days and weeks in the United States. The majority of my internship involves direct contact with refugee families. Each day looks different.
The organization I am working with, Operation Mobilization (OM), has a main focus on mobilizing people to build relationships for the Gospel. Days before arriving in El Salvador, one of the biggest preparation points given to me by my internship supervisor was this: be ready to be flexible. That being said, it has been typical for a lot of the things I have been doing and observing to feel spontaneous in nature.
During my first week here, I worked with doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from Germany, Canada, and the U.S. in medical clinics that we would set up at a different school each day in the El Salvadorian city of Citalá. Read More >>
Josiah Venture is a ministry organization dedicated to the movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church. Josiah venture is currently located in twelve countries in Europe. I am serving this summer as a short-term missionary in Havirov, Czech Republic working with Josiah Venture’s performing arts focused ministry Fusion. My main responsibility is leading evangelistic music/performing arts camps for high school students. These camps are not only a vital tool to bringing the gospel to youth in a relevant and relaxed environment, but they also set the foundation for year-round music/performing arts based ministries run by local churches. Read More >>
This summer I have been interning for Bethany Christian Services. My title is Foster Care Adoption Intern. I work alongside the Foster Care Adoption social worker providing assistance with cases. During my time here I have been exposed to a variety of situations and cases. My main responsibilities include a few different things. I am in charge of hosting the info. nights for the public in both July and August. I have been preparing for that night as it approaches in the next the week. For the past few weeks I have been working on closing up the child and family files for cases that are no longer active. Read More >>
Zdravo (hello)! I’m writing this from a friend’s couch, in a tiny flat, in a sleepy Eastern European town, Celje, all the while being amazed at where God has brought me. This town is where I spent my entire summer last year, and where I have returned to work with a group of missionaries from the Christian non-profit, Josiah Venture. Celje is situated in the mid-eastern side of Slovenia, a nation few people have even heard of (and if they have, often confuse it with Slovakia). Until the 1990’s Slovenia was a part of the former Yugoslavia and under communist rule. So what would motivate a 19-year-old American girl from Seattle to spend two summers in a small, ex-communist country tucked away in the western corner of Eastern Europe? Read More >>
This experience, of starting and managing a robotics team at SPU, has really stretched me to the limit and helped me to find who I am. It was my responsibility to run the logistics of the team, as well as serve as the project manager. I discovered throughout this competition, both in the prep leading up to it and actually at the competition, that I really enjoy managing the team. This whole robotics competition has served to show that I have made the correct choice in choosing engineering as my field. Read More >>
I am interning for Valley Cities Counseling, a non-profit mental health agency that serves the greater King County area. There are several sights in Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, and Midway, and I work at the Renton site. Basically, Valley Cities is like any mental health provider, except it only takes clients who would qualify for or already have Medicaid and a few other insurances under the Washington State Apple Care act. The clients that we serve at Valley Cities have every sort of mental disorder ranging from not as serious change of life issues, to extremely serious, like Schizophrenia. I believe in the importance of this work because the people being served here have no less need than anyone else with mental health disparities, yet their social status causes them to fall through the cracks. Read More >>
During my time of interning at Landesa, I learned the most through my various meetings with different staff members. These meeting were set up to discuss different projects Landesa is involved with, the work of the Center for Women’s Land Rights focuses on, and further advise about careers in development. I learned more about the limitations women face when it comes to land tenure and ownership. Read More>>
My time at Image has revealed many details about how I work best. It has offered me the opportunity to learn and grow professionally. It has expanded my skill set and knowledge of the nonprofit workplace. And it has allowed me to delve into my strengths and weaknesses in order that I might develop and even more importantly that I might better understand who I was created to be. The most important thing I have learned from Image has some to do with the workplace but everything to do with purpose. Read More>>
I am the mission and outreach intern at Bethany Community Church. Elli Oswald, the director of mission and outreach is my direct supervisor. The mission and outreach department at Bethany contains both local and global outreach programs and organizational partnerships. My internship responsibilities include a variety of tasks and projects with both global and local focus. I began my internship in September 2013 and it will conclude in June 2014. The following will be a reflection of my experience thus far as well as include a projected timeline for current and future tasks and responsibilities. Read More >>
As an intern at the EEOC Seattle Field Office my primary responsibility is to process incoming charges of discrimination and prepare them for the legal team. This involves entering the Charging Party’s (CPs) information into the government database, making the initial contact with CPs, scheduling interviews, assisting with interviews, serving charges of discrimination, and making assessments of cases. Since I am the first person a CP comes in contact with I have had to learn how to effectively interact with the public. Working with a wide range of people from different ethnic, linguistic and social backgrounds requires me to be a patient and effective communicator and has shown me that kind words and a polite demeanor go a long way. Read More>>
This summer I have had the opportunity to join three other staff members at a Renton-based non-profit, CryOut!, in empowering nine diverse high school students. These students were selected to engage in the first year of an internship program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that teaches professional skills and promotes leadership development. The summer culminates in a community concert, featuring young and established artists, as planned and implemented by these interns and staff. My role at CryOut! emerged as I began delegating tasks and encouraging the youth to accomplish the necessary tasks to plan a community event. Read more >>
Throughout my summer internship with Hope 2 One Life, I learned many technical skills, such as how to conceptualize and formulate a concrete program plan for a grant application, compile needs assessment data, form a program budget, etc. However, I have also gained many insights into the non-profit world, including the importance of team dynamics, vision planning vs. strategic planning, and marketing. I particularly enjoyed meeting one-on-one with my supervisor Nadine, and learning from her valuable personal experiences. Read More >>
Making a distinction between the idea of “career” and “calling” has really made an impact on how I view not only my current internship and its responsibilities, but also my role as a follower of Christ. In Sittser’s article, he makes the distinction between career as a secular word defined through the line of work an individual does to earn an income and keep society running. Calling is thought of as a purpose that is able to serve God in the world. Though many individuals see these two words as synonymous, it is clear that a distinction must be made between them as a Christian. Read More >>
Throughout my intern experience at World Relief I have learned so much. Starting with the basics I have learned about refugees who are people that are fleeing their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership or politics. Before my time at World Relief I honestly didn’t know what a refugee was, but now I feel incredibly well versed in the refugee crisis around the world. Read More >>
Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a unique place where education is not confined within a classroom, but is treated as a dynamic way of life. Learning happens in the dormitories with roommate conflict, in wrestling with topics at coffee shops, and in exploring careers at internships. During my last quarter at SPU, my time has been filled with learning. One, in particular, that I thoroughly enjoyed is interning at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Read More >>
Through Seattle Tilth, I serve as the Garden Steward Intern of Bradner Gardens Park, located in the Mt. Baker neighborhood of southeast Seattle. I appreciate the multifaceted ways in which Seattle Tilth inspires and educates others to care for their own physical and emotional well-being, the health of their community, and to care for the Earth. The organization encourages Seattleites of all ages to get involved in urban gardening and farming. Read More >>
During my internship, I learned more than I imagined about communication, fundraising and the inner workings of a non-profit. My internship came at the most exciting time possible for the Washington Global Health Alliance, as I was there for the final months of planning and execution for a two month long exhibit and activity tent, as well as the planning and executing of three global health events that ranged in audience from 800-2600 people. Some of my favorite parts included working with such a dynamic and great staff who are excited about their work and want to find ways to get others excited about it as well. Read More >>
My Internship at the Moyer Foundation was an experience I was proud of. Being a Program intern was fun and I learned skills such as data entry and learning about media and programs like excel, that promoted the organization. I contributed to all the tasks necessary and I felt honored in having to join a non-profit that helps others as the Foundation does. I learned from this experience how a non-profit organization is run, how things run behind the scenes, how to expand and better my oral and written communication skills, and how to develop time management skills. Read More >>
One of the things that my internship has made abundantly clear is how well my education has prepared me for ministry. I am an Educational Ministry major in my final year and when rubber met the road over the last quarter, I was ready for it. That alone is such a huge blessing. Most valuably, I learned how to take the knowledge that I have gained through my education and apply it to real life ministry. As I hinted above, the transition was really smooth and it was so fun to see it all come together! The best part of working with the children’s ministry team at Bethany Community Church was receiving tips from all of their hard earned lessons. They provided a lot of the polish for my rudimentary skill set. Read More >>
I don’t know if I can put into exact words what I’ve learned at my internship but I know that I have been stretched, challenged, and learned more than I ever expected. I appreciate Sittser’s distinction between calling and career: “a calling often uses a career, though it should never be reduced to a career.” Through this internship I have been able to further discern my distinct calling and how that can be played out in at least one career, for example working as a Chaplain at a homeless shelter. However, I have also learned that a calling does not have to be restricted to a specific career path. Sittser’s definition of a calling as “a God-given purpose to use one’s time, energy, and abilities to serve God in the world,” helps me to realize that one of my callings is to work for justice and healing in the lives of those on the margins.
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I can honestly say that I have learned a lot working at EarthCorps. I have learned the importance of communication both internally and externally. Communication internally produces better departmental connection and support as well as better data which is really the lifeline of a non-profit’s outreach and financial support. External communication in the form of networking at events as well as newsletters, reports, among others to reach your supporters, both financially through individual donors and grantors, as well as the volunteers and home stays (those that host our international corpsmembers) that really make this organization a success is really non-replaceable. EarthCorps has managed to do this through structured meetings, open door policies, having good information systems and training on how to use them, as well as great processes around event coordination and consistent interaction with the community that supports the organization. Read More >>