On Thursday, August 17th, Redeemer said goodbye to its 19 high school STEP-UP interns, though Redeemer’s impact on them and their impact on our community will reverberate long after the summer.
For NouChee and Namesha, a summer internship in the coffee bar gave them an enjoyable and employable skill. NouChee will be continuing on at Venture North and Namesha will be starting to work at Starbucks. It was both of their first time working as baristas and they found it challenging to learn how to make all the different drinks. But they soon got the hang of it and particularly enjoyed meeting all the different people who came through Venture North.
Going into the summer, Willie thought working in the bike shop would be “boring,” “hard,” and “annoying.” But he ended up feeling like the summer went smoothly and that it wasn’t as boring as he thought it would be. He found fixing brakes to be especially challenging, but he kept working on it and felt proud when it started to get easier. He and the six other bike shop interns worked to refurbish over 150 bikes this summer and Willie particularly enjoyed getting to help deliver them. A few bike shop interns may be hired on at Venture North as mechanics.
In the Health Commons, Jennifer didn’t know what to expect going into the summer as she had never worked in a health-related field. But she says that she learned a lot including how to take people’s blood pressure, how to give hand massages, and generally what’s healthy for the community. She also worked in the garden and did outreach. Jennifer feels inspired by the way that Health Commons helps people and is even considering working as a doctor or in another health-related profession as a career.
The Community Leadership interns spent the summer learning about different topics that impact North Minneapolis and felt that their work mentoring younger children was especially important. “We all connected with the kids, each one of the kids. We love the kids and the kids love us,” said Qali. They took the children on several field trips through the summer “Kids in Action” program and particularly enjoyed canoeing at Theodore Wirth Park Lake.
De’Leon felt like the summer made him more verbal than he normally is at school and both he and Marrell thought they learned more leadership skills as they found themselves in the role of teacher and not just student. “Now I know how it feels to wait for everyone to get on task.”
Each of the Community Leadership interns remarked on the close connection they had developed with their coworkers and said that, overall, the summer was much better than they thought. As part of their last week at Redeemer, all of the interns met with a financial planner who helped give them skills around how to use their paycheck. They each expressed a sense of pride in the money they earned this summer hope to stay connected to Redeemer through the school year.