Words from an Intern

July 29th, 2019
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Words from an Intern

At the beginning of summer, I was fortunate enough to land a media internship at the Bethlehem Center. Basically, I was in charge of making videos and snapping photos of kids in Jump STArt Camp. In truth, I had no idea what to expect, and I carried a hidden fear that I would wind up accomplishing little of importance during my time at the center. But now, after a few months of work, I can clearly see how shallow and pointless my concerns really were.

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Despite a few setbacks in the form of lost SD cards and my habit of forgetting to read emails (my bad), I’ve had a fantastic time documenting the events of Jump STArt Camp. Whether it’s a trip to the Challenger Center, a week learning music with East Lake Expression Engine, or an abstract art lesson with a local celebrity painter such as Charlie Newton, the kids are always engaged and no day is ever the same. On a Monday I might be editing videos and then on Tuesday, I could be weeding around pepper plants in the garden with members of the community. There is always something going on at the Beth!

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If I’m honest, there’s a legitimate sense of satisfaction that comes when working at the Beth which I didn’t expect. It’s mostly due to the fact that the Beth really is a benevolent and lifegiving center for South Chattanooga. For a long time when I thought about the nature of jobs and careers, I felt a lot of anxiety, mostly bound in a vague suspicion that quite a few jobs are largely inconsequential. However, when I see a family visit the food bank and leave with groceries they didn’t have before or see children practicing art or when I talk to a group of adults attending a community workshop, all my previous fears dissolve.  I feel relief with the knowledge that I am helping an organization that is doing some good in the world. 

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Have I attained fulfillment? Who’s to say. What I am sure of is that I will not forget my time at the Beth once I’m turned back out into the great wide world. 

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Trevor Reese

Trevor Reese is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelors in Communications. He is originally from the small town of Loudon, Tennessee and spends his time bass fishing, playing piano, and going to Taco Bell at 3am with his friends. 


Posted by The Beth

 
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Volunteer Testimony: Marco Perez


Hello, my name is Marco Perez. I am a senior at Howard High School.

I was one of many seniors that didn’t know where to go for my volunteer hours. I turned to my guidance counselor for help, and she gave me the number of the Director of Community Outreach, Gloria.


While I was at the Bethlehem Center, I helped around with whatever was needed. I ended up helping in the food pantry and did other general cleaning duties. I also helped set up for bingo at the Beth and the Mary Walker Towers.


I really enjoyed my time at the Beth. Working with the seniors and seeing them happy playing bingo made me happy.


I thought volunteering would be boring, and that I'd have to do stuff that really didn’t matter. Now that I have actually volunteered my views have changed and made me realize that it does matter. It may not seem much, but the little we give is a lot for many others.




Posted by The Beth

Kinsey's Story

May 1st, 2019

                        Kinsey's Story 

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. 

Posted by The Beth

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