After another very busy spring recruiting season, we kick off our ServeHere Summer 2015 program with a fine group of amazingly talented, diverse and Christ-honoring students!
Just a few of this summer’s best and brightest, from Texas and beyond.
At 14 students, this summer’s class is the largest yet — and winnowed down from 40+ applicants. More universities are represented than ever before, with students from the University of Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas State, Valparaiso and Winona State College. Their fields of study span from business to biology, economics to ethics, communications to community studies, and well beyond.
While a summer with ServeHere provides many learning opportunities, the most important is each student’s handcrafted internship placement with a local non-profit. This is their new classroom and a place where they are challenged to apply what they have learned in their field of study in order to make a real impact.
This summer, internship placements were made in eleven different faith-based non-profits around Austin. These organizations each serve populations that struggle with deep poverty. But their clients’ circumstances, are very different — spanning the homeless, underprivileged youth, refugees, juvenile offenders, recent convicts, African villagers, young mothers and more.
Our Summer 2015 Non-profit Partners
This week, we kicked off the summer with an intensive two day training session designed to prepare ServeHere students for success in life and in their new assignments. This crew wasn’t shy about studying themselves and engaging in challenging conversations about the world we live in. It’s going to be an awesome summer watching them grow while making an enormous impact on their organizations.
Addison Roden is a rising senior in the Business Honors program at the University of Texas, with a minor in Spanish. She was accepted by ServeHere and placed in a marketing internship at Side By Side Kids (SBSK) in the spring semester of her junior year. SBSK is a faith-based after-school program that now operates in three urban public elementary schools in the St. John’s area of Austin.
During the internship semester, Addie and two other McCombs students entered and won L’Oreal’s national Brandstorm Competition in NYC, topping 100 other teams. UT lit the tower to recognize the accomplishment and the team earned another trip, this time to Paris, for the international finals!
Addie is a great representative of her generation and the students that ServeHere seeks to attract and develop. She is an incredibly talented, hard working and humble person who sees the big picture in life. And her faith doesn’t take a backseat to her professional aspirations.
Read Addie’s reflection on the impact of her experience with SBSK.
There are a variety of ways to learn. You can learn by seeing, listening, and experiencing. Throughout my internship at Side by Side Kids (SBSK) and my time with ServeHere, I learned so many new things, in so many different ways.
I watched the staff at SBSK and learned how to rely on the Lord to supply what I need each and every day. Working in the same office as our Executive Director and Volunteer Coordinator gave me unique insights into the daily operations of a non-profit organization. I saw blessings come into our organization from generous donors, and I saw the staff rely on Jesus for strength when they were tired, discouraged, or worried that we wouldn’t have the resources needed to accomplish our goals. I saw how everyone encouraged one another with scripture and prayer, and when my internship came to a close, I saw how the staff valued the work I had put into the organization, and the time I was able to spend with them.
I listened to my mentors and learned new marketing strategies and how to best manage new projects. From the first time I interacted with ServeHere until my last meeting of the semester, I was instructed on a variety of topics that helped me in my internship, and that will continue to aid me as I move forward. I heard about different ways to get the most out of the time I had at my internship, marketing strategies for a digital platform, and ways to strengthen my writing skills. The one-on-one instruction that I was given allowed me to ask questions and glean information from people who had more experience and insights than I did.
I experienced new things and learned how to use the Adobe suite, write better blog posts and newsletter articles, and apply for grants. My first project at SBSK was to update marketing materials with new information. I had never used the Adobe suite before, and I was able to learn a new skillset through experiencing it firsthand. In addition, I improved my written communication skills through writing bi-monthly blog posts and newsletters.
When I began my time with ServeHere, I hoped to gain experience that I could use as I look towards graduating college. The experience far exceeded my expectations, and I am so grateful for the time I had to work alongside the staff at SBSK and ServeHere.