Within my internship I am mainly responsible for the daily interaction with families as well as upkeep of the House. This could be anything from taking referrals, getting the families comfortable with the house, assisting volunteers, or taking in donations. Everything I do to help is under trauma based culture, so while I am at my internship it has been amazing to help those who need it the most. I also had the ability to help out with any events that occur during my internship, which has been a really great experience because of my two minors in Event Management and Public Relations!
My internship has given me the opportunity to work on not only interpersonal professional skills, but also skills within myself. Throughout the summer, I found myself becoming more outgoing and confident with my abilities to do things, especially when it came to interacting with many new faces everyday. Getting out of my shell lead to a domino effect of gaining confidence to do more on my own, and that would have to be my greatest accomplishment.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the lesson that even if someone doesn't outwardly show it, they may need more help than you would think. Seeing the same families everyday and being able to be there for them through possibly the hardest time of their lives taught me that even if they can't smile back, or can't say "thank you," doesn't mean they aren't appreciative; being kind is sometimes the best medicine when someones pain is on the inside.
What advice would you give?
The biggest piece of advice I have for future HDFS students is to find your passion. While that seems silly, it is very important. If you go into the field not knowing who or in what way you want to help, it can become way too easy to become burnt out - even in an internship or part time job in the field. Understanding where your spark comes from is a big help in finding your place. To do this I would recommend finding jobs, volunteer, or club experience beginning your first year or two. Figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it, and never stop experimenting.