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My Time as an Intern

Updated: Apr 22

My internship at Hospitality House has been a long journey. My world views have changed a lot since starting this internship after being exposed to the homelessness crisis. I decided to intern at Hospitality House after working with people that had been helped by them. One of them was living here while she was getting back on her feet. The other had met his wife while living here and Hospitality House helped him find a home for him, his wife and kid. I found this fascinating because it was such a great story and it made me want to learn more about this place because of the positive influence it had on his life.

There were a lot of things that shocked me while interning here because it seemed to be contrary to what the media would like you to think about homelessness. First, I was surprised by how many of the clients were senior citizens. I never really considered that the homelessness crisis extended to people in their mid 70s and 80s. When the media shows homelessness on television it's almost always people aged 22-60. 

Another thing that I was surprised by was how nice and clearheaded a lot of the clients are. One of the highlights of my internship was talking and joking around the clients. It was nice getting to know them well and hear their stories. We are fear mongered online into believing that homeless people are mean and violent but that couldn't be further from the truth. They are warmhearted people who are just down on their luck. It was really nice getting to know the clients and sometimes I would see some of them walking down King Street and we would say hi to each other. 

One thing I enjoyed about my internship was getting to work both at the Watauga Housing & Outreach Center and the Brook Hollow Complex. Having the opportunity to split my internship into both buildings helped me see how the whole organization operates and how non-profits run. It was interesting learning about all the business and paperwork involved in operating a nonprofit.

It was also fascinating seeing how NeurOptimal® works and talking to the therapists and other interns about what it is. I ended up writing a paper on it after doing investigative reporting about it. It really blew my mind how much work and care Hospitality House does to help their clients improve themselves. There's not many homeless shelters out there that come with therapists to help them.

Working in the kitchen was also a highlight of my time as an intern. I enjoyed working with James and plating trays and helping cook and cut food. After we put food on the trays we handed them out to the residents at the door. When I first started doing this it made me anxious, but as time went on and I became more familiar with the clients it became easier and more natural.

One interesting thing about my internship is that I started it during one of the most chaotic weeks of the year. There was a huge snowstorm and many people were stuck inside the shelter with nowhere to go. It was a chaotic time to start, but I'm happy it was my first week because everything else seemed mild afterwards.

Probably the best skill I enhanced during my internship was my communication skills. There were times when people got stressed out or upset and I would talk to them to get to the root of the problem and figure things out. This is a skill that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

One of my favorite things about the internship was the people I worked with. Everyone was nice, considerate and open minded. It was funny joking around with fellow interns and staff. Staff does a great job creating an environment for learning and growth. If you have an idea they’re always open to hearing about it and implementing it. This leads to an exciting work environment.

I’m happy I chose this internship. It has been a mind changing experience for me. I know I will look back 10 years from now grateful that I chose to intern here for the experience it offered me and the people I got to meet. 

Connor Walsh

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It's heartening to hear how your perceptions of homelessness have shifted and how you've been able to connect with and learn from the clients. The insights you've gained into nonprofit operations and the positive impact of programs like NeurOptimal are invaluable. It's wonderful that you've not only developed practical skills but also enhanced your compassion and communication abilities, geometry dash lite.

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