This summer we’ve had the pleasure of having not one, but two stellar interns join our team. They have already risen to the challenges and opportunities of small non-profit operations, and we’re excited for what comes next on their journey. Read on to get a glimpse into the exciting work Dana and Rachel have been doing this summer.
I am originally from Tennessee and found my way to Portland last fall to pursue my Masters in Global Development and Justice at Multnomah University. I have a background in Intercultural Studies and love to see the Lord at work in our world, and my current program is a great complement to that. I am passionate about sharing Christ through community development and seeking justice in our world. After graduate school, I am excited to see where the Lord leads as I pursue work in the development and non-profit world.
In looking for an internship for the summer, Adorned In Grace's anti-trafficking focus initially peaked my interest. In any type of non-profit work, development, or ministry, prevention is always the most needed but most underfunded piece of the work. The realities of fundraising are that donors are more willing to give once someone is in need or has become a victim rather than working to prevent those circumstances from beginning in the first place. AIG's greatest strength is being willing to invest in prevention, and if only one girl benefits through my internship here it will be worth it! Additionally, seeing AIG director Linda Tribbett's passion for the progam confirmed to me that interning with Compassion Connect would not only be a great way to gain valuable professional experience but would also provide a supportive environment that would challenge me to grow personally. Having both a passionate director and a program that wanted to prevent injustice before it began sold me!
Officially, I am the intern for Adorned In Grace, but I have also been able to gain some other great opportunities to learn from the rest of the Compassion Connect team. My internship position covers a little bit of everything which is providing a rich experience where I can gain experience in several different areas at once. One of my favorite parts of my internship is working directly as a mentor with the girls in the after-school prevention workshops at the Adorned In Grace Design Studio, but I am also gaining valuable skills in general non-profit administration, research, and program design. The staff, especially Linda, have been providing opportunities for me to be challenged and bring ideas to life. Additionally, research and program design have become a major component of my internship here as we have several exciting new opportunities for our girls in the works!
So far, the things that I have enjoyed the most about my experience has to be building relationships with the girls at the Design Studio. Each group has their own unique personality but they are always full of energy and creativity. This past week we even had a horse as a guest come to visit during one of the workshops to help prepare them for some riding opportunities this summer! Growing up in Tennessee, horses were a familiar sight for me, so it was amazing to see these girls, who rarely see horses here in the city, light up with excitement from something that I had often taken for granted.
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned this summer is simply seeing the beauty and diversity of the Kingdom of God at work. In order for all of the different programs to work and serve people well, volunteers with various talents and gifts are needed.
Even at the Design Studio,the workshops need people sho can plan snacks, conversations, and crafts. I can barely thread a sewing maching or sew on a button, but we have amazing seamstresses who love volunteering their time to teach the girls how to sew. Each mentor comes from a different background and has her own unique ways to connect with the girls, and among the girls each of them have their own talents and interests. Some of our girls love music, others are amazing artists, and even math. I love seeing all the beauty and diversity that comes together beautifully for just one workshop that would not be possible if everyone in the body was the same.
If anyone is considering an internship with Compassion Connect, just know that you will definitely not be used for coffee runs. The CC staff invest in their volunteers, their interns, and in each other. If you want to be in an environment where you will be invested in and challenged to grow while serving the community in Jesus’ name and gaining great hands-on experience, Compassion Connect may be a great fit for you!
I’m from Vancouver, Washington and have lived there my whole life, except for four years spent in Moscow, Idaho during and after college. I’ll graduate in December from Multnomah Biblical Seminary with my Masters of Christian Leadership. I get to study both the practical side of ministry (interacting with people, pastoral counseling, and leadership) as well as the Biblical studies and theology side of seminary. I’m passionate about discipling and training women to love God and disciple others. I also love empowering leaders, and engaging other people’s God-given passions. After graduation, I hope to do just that: minister in an environment where I can empower, train and disciple leaders for God’s Kingdom.
I love that Compassion Connect unifies churches. The Church, as Christ’s Bride, is such a powerful part of God’s Kingdom ministry, so knowing that was a passion for Compassion Connect really attracted me to this ministry. Additionally, in my particular role, I get to work directly with young women and mentor them, as well as aide the other mentors in their roles. This fits precisely within my passions and God-given talents.
Specifically, I support the Design Studio and its mentors. The Design Studio is our after school (and now summer) program that at-risk girls get to come to and work on crafts, homework, enjoy snacks and friendships, and build healthy relationships with mentors. I get to support the mentors with creative ideas, planning, purchasing, facilitating, and ensuring everything is set to go each week. I also get to know the girls on a personal level, and act as a safe, trusted adult for the girls.
I have enjoyed getting to know the mentors, and seeing the new mentors really take on their roles and connect with the girls. Additionally, the girls love the mentors, and love coming to the Design Studio. I love that God has provided an awesome space and compassionate women to reach these amazing girls. It’s such a blessing to be part of it.
We did a game night one night, which was great because it was a particularly large group of girls. We split into several groups. My group was playing “Farkle.” The girls were laughing and joking the whole time, to the point that one girl had carrots come out her nose! Needless to say, I think they had fun!
Another notable interaction, is that one of our girls quoted one evening, “I’ve never had anyone care for me like this.” I don’t know her whole story, but she clearly felt cared for in our space. I’m excited to see this relationship grow, and see her continue in the Design Studio.
This experience has been humbling in many ways. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my “bubble” of ministry, and forget what all is going on in our world. But, this summer, I’ve gotten to see God’s work in a very new and different context. God is so much bigger than we realize; He is truly amazing.
To other students considering an internship with Compassion Connect, I would say, “Go for it!” The staff is incredible, and the whole organization is so relational. They not only care about what you’re doing, but also who you are. It’s amazing to get to learn alongside them! Additionally, there is so much work to be done in Portland that you will get a very real servant-leader experience, truly impacting lives. It’s such a blessing to work with authentic, Christ-centered people, truly serving where it’s needed, inviting me into the work to be done. We’d love to have you join what we’re doing, or partner with us using your gifts and talents, don’t hesitate to contact us.