Intern Perspective: My YouthWorks Experience

There are many instances in one’s life where the door of opportunity opens and invites us in. That door of opportunity happened to open up in the summer before my junior year began. I decided to look around for a “job that paid well”. I, like many teenagers around this age, wanted “fast money”. I had never put much of a consideration towards my academics or even thought of having some sort of a goal for my future. That was when I began to intern for San Francisco’s YouthWorks. I was placed under San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department, McLaren Lodge.

Similar to what many other interns have done, I began with the simple tasks of filing documents and/or informing staff about events. As my time in the internship extended, I found myself developing strong working relationships with the staff at McLaren Lodge.  I worked extensively with one specific staff member who was not only friendly and approachable, but also an inspirational and motivated  individual. Regardless of what she had assigned me to do, be it filing or scanning a document, there was always some sort of significance to it.

Even after the internship had ended, I found myself continuing to work alongside San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department. The following summer after my junior year had ended, I worked as a junior camp counselor for an art camp. I will work for them again this summer. Now, I continue to work with the department and San Francisco’s YouthWorks, but this time, as a Youth Leadership Team member. In this job I help voice interns’ concerns or questions and help plan and facilitate workshops on topics like resume building and money management. I will also be attending college at Long Beach State this fall.

What began as merely something to make money, turned out to be one great experience as a whole. The staff within the program has been supportive throughout these past two years.  YouthWorks has not only allowed me to grow as an individual, but also helped open this “door of opportunity. I can’t express how grateful I am for giving it a shot.

Blog written by YouthWorks Youth Leadership Team Member Nhi Nguyen.