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Back Bay Mission

Week Nine: Greatful. A Journal Entry by Social Justice Intern Ashlee Beaver

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              As time is winding down, it is getting harder and harder to believe that I will be heading back to Ohio so soon. These have been the fastest 9 weeks of my life, and I have Back Bay Mission to thank for that. For this week, I want to talk about a success story that I had to privilege to witness over the past 9 weeks.

               From my very first day here, there was one client that automatically became one of my friends. She came up to me, introduced herself, and gave me something of a “scope” of all the clients that were in the Day Center. She was nothing but friendly, and kind, and extremely independent.

                As time went on, and I continued talking to her, she began telling me that she was in line for an apartment, but she didn’t know if she was going to take it. It didn’t make much sense to me why someone would refuse to accept housing, but in her case, there were a lot of underlying issues that I had no idea about.

                Anyhow, over the past couple weeks, I had seen her more on the phone with her case manager and I had also seen her case manager in the Day Center (which was not usual). She told me that she had decided to take the apartment, and that she was moving in as soon as it was ready.

                At the end of this week, I got a phone call when I was in the Day Center and it was this woman’s case manager, she told me that her apartment was ready, and she was on her way to pick her up.

                It was only a matter of minutes before she came to get her, and when she did, you could see the excitedness through this woman’s eyes. She gave us all hugs and thanked us all for everything we had done.

                I haven’t seen her since this day, and I guess that is a good thing. It was just the cherry on the top of this experience to actually see a success story first-hand. Back Bay Mission really does help do God’s work, and I am forever grateful for being able to be a part of 10 weeks of it.

Week Nine – One to Remeber. A Journal Entry by Social Justice Intern Kairah Roseau

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I had the amazing opportunity to accompany some of the Back Bay Mission’s staff to an award ceremony awarding our Executive Director, Dr. Alice Graham at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. She humbly accepted the award on behalf of all of Back Bay Mission and I was very proud to be a part of that. It is hard to imagine that I am wrapping up my last week here at Back Bay Mission. This has been a great summer filled with not only learning but fun as well. From running the Day Center to checking clients into the food pantry. I cherish every experience I have had thus far.

I am currently in the process of seeing one of our clients receive housing. He is currently homeless but is merely one step away from having his apartment. This is something that has truly been the “icing on the cake” for this entire internship. Ms. Loretta has given me personal insight into her housing program, and I enjoy going onsite visits with her and getting a chance to speak with the managers and step into her shoes. This week has definitely been one to remember!

Running the Micah Day Center. A Journal Entry by Social Justice Intern Ashlee Beaver

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This week we were tasked with a responsibility that we had never been asked to do before: run the Micah Day Center. Ms. Debra, Ms. Sarah, and Ms. Kirsten were not going to be there on Friday, so Kairah and I were to be in charge. So, we followed Ms. Debra around on Wednesday, watching over everything that she did for the Center on a daily basis (which is a lot). When it came time for us to start on Friday, Kairah and I couldn’t have been more excited. This was the first time we had ever been trusted to run the Day Center, and luckily, we did not blow this opportunity. The clients were extremely well-behaved and everything moved very smoothly: this definitely had a lot to do with the help of Ms. Lucy in the clothing closet. This experience really shed a light on how much work Ms. Debra does on a daily basis, and it just increased the overflowing amount of respect I already had for her. It also showed me how many relationships I had built with many of the clients since I’ve been here. Most of them know my name and are now able to speak to me with comfort in knowing who I am as a person. These relationships truly make this internship memorable, and it is the exact outcome I wanted to have by the end of these 10 weeks.

Homeless Healthcare Day. A Journal Entry by Social Justice Intern Kairah Roseau

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This past week, I’ve had the opportunity to shadow at Coastal Family Health Clinic. I attended on their Homeless Healthcare Day, a day dedicated specifically to homeless clients who need healthcare assistance. The HCH program helps homeless clients (some of whom I recognize from Back Bay) receive health care services from the clinic for free. A select handful of clients come in with any concerns they may have, and they were addressed by the caseworker. I was able to sit and speak with the nurse practitioner, nurse, and amazing caseworker who took the time to shadow and mentor with me throughout the day. The reason this day of internship at Coastal Family Health was so important to me, is because I plan to go into Public Health and Epidemiology. Epidemiology is the study of diseases in groups and communities, or possibly how to control them. My respected professor Dr. Walter Davis is the person who encouraged me to go into this field, and I love it the more I learn about it. From this trip to Coastal Family Health, I was able to see behind the scenes what goes on at a clinic and get one on one time with clients and healthcare professionals alike. I can’t wait to back next week and learn so much more!

Week Six: Energetic! A Journal Entry by Social Justice Intern Kairah Roseau

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To sum up week 6 in one word, I would use “energetic!” This week, we had the privilege of working with some children at a local summer camp with our community health worker, Ms. Mary. The children’s ages ranged from ages 5-12. To say the least, they were full of so much energy and joy! We played every game one could imagine! The youngest children enjoyed high energy games such as “Red Rover”, “Duck Duck Goose”, “Tag”,and “Red light, Green light”. The older children seemed to enjoy “Four Square” and “Simon Says” more. I even had the pleasure of being a “human basketball hoop” where the kids would shoot balls into a hula hoop while I held it high in the air. The next day I had the opportunity to lead some art projects. We made butterflies and dragonflies out of pipe cleaners, did water paintings, and even had puzzle wars, which the older kids really enjoyed. The last day, we made delicious snacks such as “Apple Turn Overs” and Rice Crispy Treats! They LOVED them! Even the teachers and staff wanted to take a few with them after we left. I think it was very good for the kids to to learn to create, as well as engage in play in order to show them that when you spend time on something, great things can come from it. At the end of every day, the kids would always ask “Are you guys coming back tomorrow?”. I think they enjoyed our presence just as much as we enjoyed theirs, and to me that shows that our visits were successful! I’ll admit, even after the soreness after our long days of activities. 

Week Six: “Duck, Duck, Goose”. A Journal Entry by Social Justice Intern Ashlee Beaver

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Week six has almost perfectly catered to my aspirations later in life. We had the opportunity to assist Ms. Mary Tell with a summer camp at Gaston Point. Kairah and I were both in charge of the activities for separate days; I took over physical activities while Kairah took arts and crafts. Being the youngest of five children, I have always found myself being able to relate to young children well. I have found that if you treat them as if you are their friend and not their elder, they respond better, and they listen. This was my method when I began instructing the various groups of children, and it was very effective. Some of the activities we played were; freeze-tag, red rover, “red-light, green-light”, four-square, hula-hoop contest, jump-rope contest, and “duck-duck-goose”. I had a phenomenal time being able to interact with these children and helping them enjoy at least 30 minutes of their day. This helped me realize that I do want to work with kids in my future, and it also boosted my confidence in how well I can positively interact with them. The last day, Ms. Mary led the groups with cooking some healthy snacks, I found this day the most impactful for me, seeing that we were able to just sit down with the groups and talk. I did not think that these kids would be willing to just sit and talk, but once they felt that they were being heard and felt that they were being respected, they responded well (it also helped that they knew they had food coming). Week six was a success and I cannot wait for more.

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