Winter 2015 SID Alum
Last winter I worked for the After School Program at Alternatives for Girls. I was primarily responsible for creating health and nutrition workshops for the elementary age girls in addition to providing homework help and preparing simple meals. I assumed more responsibilities than I initially thought I would, but I believe that made the internship a much richer learning experience. Overall I had a wonderful time working there and am thinking about getting involved with AFG again in the future.
View Katrina's Internship Work Plan
SID Internship: Alternatives for Girls Work Plan
Alternatives for Girls is a Detroit based organization that seeks to “help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives.” My internship at Alternatives For Girls will primarily involve cooking meals for the girls, helping with homework, and leading workshops with the elementary-age group. I am working within the Prevention department of AFG, which entails, but is not limited to, leading the girls through various daily activities and providing them with a safe and encouraging atmosphere to complete schoolwork and socialize. I know that I will be cooking every day, but my other day-to-day tasks fluctuate depending on the schedule my supervisor, Diona, makes each week. Overall, I am here to assist in any way possible and learn from the women and girls here.
· Build relationships with the women and girls at AFG
· Personally improve teaching & leadership skills
· Help create & modify workshops with fellow interns and volunteers
· Sporadically set up meetings with my advisors to discuss workshops
· Check in with the girls to see how they are liking the activities
· Contact the women working on the Role Model Fundraiser and see if I can assist in any way
By working closely with the girls during homework sessions and workshops I hope to foster some strong relationships and have the girls see me as a friend and resource. Additionally, I hope to learn from the current facilitators in order to create fun workshops that the girls will enjoy. Each girl has a unique story and I hope to create a supportive and open dynamic with those who decide to reach out to me.
I generally will not be alone in workshops or in the kitchen but as I get more established I’m anticipating that I will be entrusted with more responsibility such as workshop facilitation. As I will eventually be facilitating, there is a curriculum we are instructed to follow, however, we are given some creative license to make the workshop our own; this can be done by incorporating crafts, games, or other fun age appropriate activities to engage the girls.
So far I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive first few weeks. The staff has been very friendly and welcoming, and I immediately got a sense of the passion and dedication that goes into AFG. I know that a majority of the success I hope to have here depends on my attitude and accessibility. However, some of the other interns have told me that finding creative ways to fill the full 90 minutes reserved for workshop activities can sometimes be difficult. I’m hoping to incorporate a variety of activities that are interactive as well as educational so the girls don’t have to sit and listen to me talk the entire time. They are a really fun, energetic group and I want these workshops to be fun and engaging as well as informative. Something I think all teachers want but, nonetheless, I don’t want the girls to see AFG’s After School Program as a kind of “second school.”
I think that the most genuine measure of “success” in this situation will be reflected in the kinds of relationships I create. I want to pursue a career in Social Work and getting the chance to intern at Alternatives for Girls is a unique experience in that, not only do I get to see how this organization works on an administrative level, but I have the chance to work with the girls who benefit from the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. I know Diona will sporadically be sitting in on workshops, my touching base with her afterwards she can give me some feedback on my facilitations. Additionally, I’ve been asking some of the girls what kind of activities they’d like to do during workshop so I can try and incorporate some of their ideas into the curriculum and hopefully get some positive feedback from them.