“It will go by fast” they said. I didn’t believe them.
Now here I am, waiting to board my flight back to Michigan. Leaving my internship is bittersweet. NYC can be draining and I am definitely ready to go back home, but I am not ready to say goodbye to the kids and my team. I like how the culture at Dream is very free, non-judgmental, and accommodating to all people. I liked the freedom within my job and my team was very helpful. I’m also going to miss being a part of the kids’ lives.
I remember walking one day through the projects and seeing kids maybe between 10-15 years. They were playing outside and around the basketball courts, and these kids were cursing up a storm! Their language was unnecessary, and it was obvious they were just copying what they saw either in the neighborhood, in the media, or at home. Not to mention, who knows what happens behind closed doors. This didn’t surprise me, as this is no different than what happens in Detroit, but it did really make me realize how important it is to attend to our youth. They are the future, and these kids need love, guidance, and to stay out of trouble! That’s why youth engagement, whether through academics or extracurricular activities, is so important. Summer camps, like Dream, help to combat this struggle.
Overall, I really enjoyed my internship. What I enjoyed the most was being a part of something positive and being able to impact kids’ lives in a positive way. Working with children in Harlem gave me more insight on what it’s like to be a minority child in another part of the country. My internship also revealed that I may be interested in working in social work or management in education systems. I really would love to implement a program like this in Detroit…