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Intern Stories: Megan D. (1/2)

Summer OFF Craft Table Balloons

I had the privilege of working with the Philip Center this past summer as an intern for their program Summer OFF. I had been hearing about this program through friends and local churches for years, but was unaware of what Summer OFF entailed or what the days in the park looked like. 

I study Spanish and Education in college, which made the Summer OFF internship appealing because I would be working with kids and have a chance to practice my Spanish with some of the Spanish-speaking community. Although neither of these things were necessary for the internship, it made the opportunity more relevant to my studies. 

I talked with my good friend about the program, because she had interned with Summer OFF the summer before. She encouraged me to apply, and I did. The application process was very straight forward, and as I learned more about the program, I became more and more excited about the summer ahead and the kids I would meet.

Something that I had been told throughout the application process and leading into the summer was that Summer OFF really wants to focus on building relationships with the kids who come to the park and their families. I learned the beauty of this emphasis and why it is so important. Every day I met more kids and worked to remember their names and stories. My memory was not always successful, but when I did remember it was so encouraging to see the kids’ faces light up and them begin to open up to me. 

By the end of the summer I had little buddies that would hang out with me while I helped with crafts or face painting. These relationships presented such a unique opportunity to share the gospel in a genuine way and also to get to know the stories of the kids I was meeting.

Come back for part 2 on Wednesday!