Friday, July 31, 2015

Words from a summer intern

Poverty is…
A simple statement, but more complex than one might think. Two summers ago, I participated in the poverty simulation at CitySquare. I have been on several mission trips to some of the poorest countries in the world. These missions gave me a look into what life is like for a lot of people. On all of these trips there are two groups of people, the ones serving and the ones being served. What I really loved about the poverty simulation is that it gave me the chance to experience the other side of things and get a taste of what life is like for people living in poverty. I’m not ignorant enough to think poverty is only a problem in third world countries, but I don’t think I ever realized just how relevant it is so close to home.

CitySquare has opened my mind to the notion that it’s not the ones serving and the ones being served, or as they would say ‘us and them.’ Poverty is not a one-sided battle. We are all in this together. This organization is breaking down barriers that have been in place for years. I love that the people CitySquare serves are ‘neighbors,’ because they are. This world is not ours; we are all neighbors.  
On another note, internships get a bad rap. People complain that it’s a lot of work for little reward, or maybe that as an intern you’re just doing busy work. Lucky for me, my experience has been far from either of those. This summer has been such an incredible opportunity. I’ve learned so much working with the CitySquare development team. In terms of my education, this team has equipped me with skills that will be essential in my future. They have given me a chance to be a part of every aspect of how a non-profit works, from donor relations to event planning. Non-profit work is extremely relational and I’m glad I got to see that firsthand. I am beyond thankful for their willingness to work beside me, not above me.
It’s not often that one would find a non-profit whose employees and volunteers are all equally passionate about the work they are doing. The CitySquare team is dedicated to fighting the root causes of poverty. Instead of throwing money at the cause, they are actively involved in providing hope for our neighbors and building relationships. I can’t thank this organization enough for letting me be involved in the work they are doing. 
Addison Hurst, Summer 2015

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