Employer: Su Casa Catholic Charities, Cincinnati, OH
Internship Sponsor: Arias Family BPIP Internship Fund
Hometown: Milford, OH
For my experience, I worked at the Su Casa, the Hispanic center of Cincinnati. I served as a teacher's assistant for the kindergarten class of their program Vacaciones Útiles. These kids are ESL and will be starting kindergarten this year. As part of the program, we fed them breakfast and lunch every day. We also had classes. A goal of the program is to prepare the kids for school and help them improve or stay on top of their English abilities over the summer. We worked on the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes, as well as other skills essential for school, such as proper behavior and proper hygienic techniques. They also had music and art classes. There were also cultural and other educational activities for the kids, which we coordinated with outside programs. We also took the kids on field trips, which many of them would not have access to otherwise.
In addition to working with Vacaciones Útiles, I helped to coordinate Su Casa's bi-annual health fair. I worked with volunteers and providers. I called clients to arrange appointments, remind them of appointments, or arrange follow-ups after the fair. I helped to set up the fair and translate as well. In this event, we provided over 130 clients with free health services, including pap smears, mammograms, HIV/AIDS screening, dental exams, hearing and sight exams, blood pressure, weight and glucose testing.
What is the most interesting or important thing you took from your Internship this summer?
It's hard to pick just one. I really improved my Spanish conversational skills, which is really important to me. But I also loved working with the kids. I was able to form really solid relationships with many of them. I also learned a lot about how the learning process works.
How did the BPIP Fund help make your experience possible?
Without the BPIP fund, I would not have been able to have this opportunity. It covered my expenses! BPIP gave me the financial support that I needed out of a summer job while allowing me to pursue something that truly interests me.
Why would you recommend the BPIP Fund?
It's a great opportunity! I think it's important for students to have exposure to the non-profit or public service sectors, but I also know that for many students, it's important to make money over the summer. BPIP allows you to do both, and it gives you flexibility to work in an area that you are really interested in!
I would just like to emphasize how truly grateful I am to this program. I learned more than I thought I would through working with Su Casa and BPIP. It also really helped set me up for my semester abroad in Costa Rica. It was a great educational experience that I could not get in any classroom. It was also much more fulfilling than any other summer job I've ever had. I get to do what I love and help out my community - it doesn't get much better than that!