While interning at the Bethlehem Center in the Community Connection department, I was able to connect with seniors on a level I didn’t know was possible. I was beyond nervous going into the senior homes to play bingo. I almost shut down, and I had no idea where I was. I am obviously caucasian and I was afraid I would be looked down upon, because of the inequalities that have been created between my African - American brothers and sisters.That was far from the case, they welcomed me with open arms and made me feel emotions I didn’t know I was capable of feeling. These seniors have made me laugh, cry, and created memories for me that I will never forget. They truly have impacted my being and have changed my perception of life itself.
Community Connection is such a great program to be involved with at the Bethlehem Center! Many forget that the adults in the community need guidance and company just as much as the children do. It was such a beautiful experience to sit down and talk about their lives, struggles, and accomplishments.
After months of interning, I got to know Ms. Lillie, Ms. Annie, and Ms. Donna who are part of the community near the Beth. Let me just say when you are around these women, you can’t leave their side without a smile on your face. They exude wisdom and resilience, and for me that is enough to feel empowered. When I was around them I felt as though we were friends, and they created a space for me within their community and that is something I’ve never felt in my life.
They gave me the confidence and courage to be comfortable here in the Community Connection program.