(Wellspring Coordinator’s Note: Project H.O.M.E. contacted us earlier this year to ask if we would be willing to take interns for six weeks of the summer. They offer a teen employment and internship program that is privately funded. Our commitment was to provide them with experience that would be helpful to their career goals. Melvin worked with Mindy in the office doing various projects. He is a junior at a the Philadelphia High School for Business & Technology and hopes to become a business owner one day. Syreeta helped Billi with the Urban Service Camps [acting as a hostess, going to sites with groups], researching alternative funding sources and helped update various documents. Syreeta is an aspiring Social Worker in her freshman year of college at West Chester University.We asked Syreeta to write a reflection of her time at Old First and you can read it below.)
The experience at Old First Church was fantastic for me. During this internship I was able to interact and communicate with new people. The people I met were very pleasant and had good people skills. The staff of the church were marvelous. They welcomed me with open arms and I enjoyed working with them. I enjoyed coming to work here because of the different personalities I get once I walk into the room. I enjoyed Old First because they were so open about everything. Also, this made me want a dog or two because of the love I get from the dogs while I’m at work.
When I first started at Old First, I thought I was going to be doing mostly office work. Once the groups arrived I went with them sightseeing and to do their service work.The group I went to sites with were grateful that I tagged along. I had expected the groups to be rude and loud but they were respectful at all times. While attending the sites, I was able to listen to some of the men’s stories at the shelters and group homes. I enjoyed every site but one it particular caught my attention more – Whosoever Gospel Mission. This group home made me realize that people can change if they seek a little guidance. This site offers a lot of help to people with jobs, classes and help being successful. This site seemed, to me, to be the most helpful to struggling people. The other sites were great and I also enjoyed working with the different people who came to volunteer who weren’t apart of the Service Camp.
This summer internship at Old First has helped my communication level. It also gave me the experience of volunteering and that made me want to give back to my own community. While working here, I learned about homelessness and how it affects many people in our society. Working at this church makes me want to go into business for myself and help communities. This was a great experience for me because it fit into my career goals to become a social worker. I’m not sure what type of social worker I want to become but it may deal with homeless people or children. I like the programs Old First offers and I really enjoyed myself here. If I need a summer job next year I would like to work here again.
I would like to thank the staff for making me feel like I am part of the family.