Updated: Aug 9, 2019
There has always been a part of me that has expected perfection from my accomplishments. I’m the kind of person who can study hard for an exam then do well on it and still feel like I have failed as a future career woman, as a college student, as a person. Before I came to Hospitality House for my internship, I had applied for multiple other internships that I had not gotten. In particular, I was disappointed in myself that I wasn’t accepted to intern for a Congressman in DC this summer, as I watched some of my peers and equal counterparts get accepted to the very same internship that I had hoped for. Right in front of me, they had taken my place. As a person who holds great pride in their accomplishments, and great disdain in my failures, I was absolutely mortified with disappointment for myself. I kept reassuring myself that this internship was necessary for my career when in actuality, it was my experience at Hospitality House that completely shifted my perceptions of civil rights, human justice, and success.
I was accepted at Hospitality House for the summer under the title of “Grant Writing Intern.” When I accepted the internship, I was expecting to be behind a desk of some sort for most of the summer, looking at policy and fiscal budgets, similarly to what I had done at my time as an intern at the General Assembly in 2016. Instead, I was immersed in an entire community that I didn’t even know could exist. I wasn’t expecting to receive such a well-rounded education about the different processes that go on at Hospitality House and during my time here, I’ve worked everywhere in the house from behind the front desk answering phone calls and getting clients toiletries, to cooking in the kitchen and helping volunteers serve dinner all by myself.
Since I have been here, I have formed so many relationships with clients, between sharing jokes and telling stories, to being a shoulder to cry on. A memory that stands out to me occurred on my first day as an intern here. I was helping a woman to get supplies and food before she went outside to stay in a tent for the night. She was there all day, and she was upset when the clock hit 7 pm, and she had to leave for the night because she wasn’t staying there. Even though it was past 7 pm, the shelter associate told me that I could continue to fetch her supplies, and I went up to the attic to get her a rolling cart to carry all of her belongings. By the time she left, it was around 7:30 pm, and she turned to me and said that she appreciated me. I told her in response that I believed in her and that she could do it (just in general, I suppose). She burst into tears and hugged me.
This moment stood out to me because I had never even met that woman before, so I felt insignificant to her. But still, evens a little bit of support I offered her on my very first day as a fresh new intern impacted her and impacted my experience here.
It is from memories like these that the weight of my past so-called “failures” disappear. As my internship experience here comes to an end, I honestly feel so fortunate and lucky to be able to have been chosen to intern at a place as inclusive, honest, and dedicated as Hospitality House. I have infinite gratitude for the clients and staff who let me into this community with open arms and no questions asked. With this experience, I feel inspired to continue to try to do good in my career aspirations. As an aspiring Civil Rights lawyer and Representative, with my newfound understanding of life for the homeless and impoverished population, I am even more determined than ever to make a change for the better in this country and promote equality.