Fall Intern Testimonies
By Steinbruck Center | December 5, 2016 | Posted in: Testimonials
As I look back over the time I have spent at the Steinbruck Center, it is hard to believe this fall semester has flown by so quickly and my time here is nearly over. To say my stay at the Steinbruck Center has been enlightening would be an understatement. Just being within the Washington, D.C, metropolitan area has been an experience, but being able to be immersed within the beautiful neighborhoods that make D.C. the diverse and colorful city that it is has made this semester such a memorable experience.
Interning at the Steinbruck Center has not only opened my eyes to all of those who are experiencing the struggles of living within an urban setting, but also enlightened me to the social injustice that stems from the structural issues that are often overlooked. Being immersed within the community here, I met those who are directly affected by these structural issues. By both listening and learning the stories of those who are experiencing homelessness and poverty has forever changed the way I view the world. From food preparation at the DC Central Kitchen, to completing outreach runs with the National Coalition for the Homeless, the combination of direct service and working with visiting groups to further inform others of the need for structural change has impacted me in a way in which I will carry what I learned with me even after my time with the Steinbruck Center. I am forever thankful for those that I met during my time here, the stories that opened my eyes to the continuing struggle for social justice, and how I will continue to carry what I learned at the Steinbruck Center on in my future endeavors.
I knew the Steinbruck Center was a special place before I even started my first day as an intern. Somewhere deep inside me, I felt a pull toward this wonderful place and now here I am, two weeks away from the end of my internship, not ready to leave. I came to DC not realizing I was blind to many of the injustices in the world, and was very quickly shown the truth. The Steinbruck Center works with people and students like me by addressing the issues of homelessness and poverty through immersion experiences. It’s one thing to hear about people experiencing homelessness, but it’s a completely new topic when you meet someone and hear their stories. Humanizing a topic helps reach people on an empathetic level and in a world where apathy is very prevalent to be successful.
The Steinbruck Center provides groups the opportunity to go out into different Washington communities and volunteer their time in meaningful places that will show them just how much of a need there is in this area. For example, volunteering and preparing a meal can be fun while you are with your friends but when you realize that without your work, 200 people would be without a meal for dinner, you realize the importance of what you are doing. The Steinbruck Center brings different speakers in to tell their stories, sends groups out to do work and hosts them in a hostel all throughout their stay. They are involved with many other community partners as well as the Community Craft Collective. During the weekly meetings with the collective, I have grown close to the members and am reluctant to leave. The products they are creating are amazing and it is so fun to go to sales with them and watch them sell their own work. I am constantly inspired by the Craft Collective and the Steinbruck Center’s impact and have learned so much about what it means to be in community with someone. I knew the Steinbruck Center was a special place, but I didn’t realize how much of a special place in my heart it would leave until I had the chance to work here and experience it. If I had to tell someone one thing about this place-it would be to come with your heart wide open and never intend to close it again.
Makayla is a senior at Valparaiso University and Hayley is a junior at Roanoke College.