When you hear the word “intern,” I bet the next two words that come to mind are “coffee runs.” I’ll tell you, though, that these past few months interning at Bolder Options have consisted of everything but. I’m pretty sure the staff even offered to get ME coffee at least once!
This past January, I stumbled upon a nearby youth development organization that was looking for a Communications and Outreach intern. As a sophomore at Hamline this year, one who is not a marketing OR communications major, mind you, I was drawn to the position because of the life-changing work I could see Bolder Options was doing and the simple promise of learning something new.
My first few weeks, I wanted to learn everything. Nothing could bore me, nothing was too small or unimportant. I immersed myself in the Bolder Options culture and soon found it was a place where I really fit in. The more I came to see the changes mentors were making in the live of their mentees, the more exciting it became to go out and encourage more people to join in our work and share our joy.
Coming out of this experience, I can definitely relate my personal growth to that which I have seen in many of our youth. The inspiring staff here at Bolder Options have been MY mentors. They welcomed me in from the start and showed me that while I had so much to learn from them, I have just as much to offer. Just as Bolder Options will be providing its youth the opportunity to explore a variety of opportunities at Career Night this evening, so too have I gained so many technical skills and an open mind during this internship that will help me on my path to “what I want to be when I grow up,” even if I still haven’t totally decided yet. What’s most important is that now I am a part of something. I have a place where my perspective matters and where my voice is heard. I know my value and firmly believe that every youth deserves a mentor to make them feel the same way.
Although my time as a Bolder Options intern is drawing to a close, my involvement with the organization is not. Just like many of our alumni pairs who still participate in our programs, I have no intention of waving goodbye now. When I attended the graduation ceremony in February, Kari Davis stood up and said something that is now becoming my reality: once you’re in, you’re part of the Bolder Options family forever. So as the intern-turned-mentee, I would encourage everyone to become a part of this family. Be BOLD. Be a mentor. Share what you love with a youth and let them do the same with you. You won’t regret it. I certainly haven’t.
Communications and Outreach Intern
P.S. That’s me with the red hair! Sorry, it’s kind of hard to get a good picture of the one who’s usually behind the camera!