Community Outreach Director, Gloria Dubose and me!
Life As a Beth Intern
Hey, I’m Charlye! (pronounced Charlie) Since I’m a girl, my parents decided to add a “y” to replace the “i.” Unique...just like me!
I’d like to tell you about my experience as an intern at the Bethlehem Center. This opportunity has helped me gain numerous skills and confidence in pursuing my career goals. Starting out I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to be considered for an intern position. Thankfully this began to change once I enrolled in a communication course for the summer. This was the most exciting class I’d taken so far! I met with my advisor to discuss three possible internships. I chose to apply for the YMCA, News Channel 9, and the Creative Discovery Museum. My advisor knew me very well and explained that I had not chosen places that supported my career goals. She then mentioned the Bethlehem Center. I had never heard of “The Beth” even though I’ve lived in Chattanooga my whole life.
After meeting with my advisor, I started to research the Beth. As I began to look at their website, I was intrigued. I came across a video on the Get Involved page describing some of the ways that the Beth helps the community. In the video a little girl talks about how a group of students got off their school bus and had to run behind the Bethlehem Center because of a shooting. As a result, the Beth started Morning Manna, a program that allows students to play sports in the gym and hear a short devotional while they wait for their bus. Watching the video helped me realize that I wanted to be a part of this heart warming environment. I knew that the Beth was the place for me to gain professional experience while serving my community.
Me with Marketing Manager, Shari Watson
On my first day as the marketing intern, I walked in thinking I would have a step by step guide to lead me through assignments. Boy was I wrong! I had to design a flyer from scratch and all I was provided with was the information. I panicked a little because I only had a semester of experience in designing. I wasn't sure if I could complete the assignment. After figuring out my target audience and what the event was about, I completed the flyer. I learned how to use my creative freedom and how to implement my ideas without holding back.
Me with Executive Director, Reginald Smith, II
In addition, the staff has been like a supportive family to me. Many of them made a lasting impact in my life. For instance, Executive Director, Reginald Smith, listened as I talked about my career goals and life experiences. He gave awesome advice and shared some of his visions for the Beth with me. Our conversation has stayed with me as I continue to pursue my career goals. Marketing Manager, Shari Watson, taught me how to be a better writer and how to bring together my scrambled thoughts. Community Outreach Director, Gloria Dubose, helped me get back in touch with my faith and taught me to be adventurous. Development & Admin Coordinator, Jennifer Johnson, always had a big, bright smile on her face and talked about her amazing kids. Program Assistant, Cyndi Coats, lended a helping hand whenever I needed it. Development Director, Debbie Boggs, wore bright clothing that matched her personality, and she even gave me the nickname “Chatty Charlye.” Lastly, I loved how Director of Education, Rachel Devore, dedicated her time to the children in the Read to Lead Academy. She treated them as if they were her own. Each staff member welcomed me with open arms and gave me that extra push to keep going.
Overall, my internship at the Beth helped me pinpoint my weaknesses and my strengths. I learned that I have a lot of great skills to use and that I need to believe in myself.Thanks to everyone at the Beth! Not only did I gain self confidence and skills that I can use in my career, I also gained a family.
Charlye B. White
Charlye is currently a Communications Major at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and will graduate in December. Her goal is to start her own non- profit one day and focus on the needs of her community. She loves to laugh, spend time in nature, and loves being a mommy to her son Princeton.