By Gisela Laprada, Career Peer, ASU Career and Professional Development Services
This semester, I had the opportunity to participate in my first internship at Project Humanities Homeless Outreach. As a requirement for my scholarship, I took USL 210, a service learning course and became an intern at Project Humanities’ Homeless Outreach at the Tempe campus.
Going into it, I was not sure what to expect. My duties and responsibilities included reaching out to local businesses to gather donations, keep track of inventory, send out weekly reminders to the volunteers, recruit volunteers, attend weekly “Friday sorting” where the volunteers would sort through all of the new donations, and attend bi-weekly “Service Saturday” where we got to distribute the donations to a community of homeless people in Downtown Phoenix. Unfortunately, I was not able to complete my internship due to the mandatory quarantine because of COVID-19. However, I learned that it is important to do our part to make our communities a better place for everyone.
Even though it was short lived, I learned a lot. First, I had no idea how many homeless people were camped out in Downtown Phoenix. I am sure most people hear about this and not think anything of it, but the amount of tents I saw that went on for blocks and blocks were shocking. It was crazy to see how many people actually needed the service that Project Humanities offers them. Second, I learned about teamwork. This effort runs on the work that not only ASU and the students put in, but mainly by the work the community puts in. There are a handful of incredible people who have served along this organization for years who truly amazed me. I got to learn from watching them put their all into helping people. We got to collaborate and work as a team in the effort of helping those people get back up on their feet and end homelessness. It showed me that there are people out there who genuinely want to make a difference.
Lastly, I learned that an internship is what you make of it. Like all internships, there are people who will help you at the beginning, but it is mostly up to you to learn how you can become useful to them. The best quality someone can have is being able to serve others. The time to invest in people is now.