This past summer Proteen was busy piloting a paid seven week internship for 20 young men and women who face some of the most challenging barriers to be successful.
The Proteen Summer Internship specifically provided internships for youth that had encountered challenges with behavior in school and interaction with the juvenile justice system. Nonetheless, we saw incredible grit and determination in these young people.
Programming ran four days per week for seven weeks. But some of the most memorable highlights came from outside of the office and out in the community. Interns were deeply impacted by community service projects on Service Wednesdays at the various agencies throughout Tacoma. Reflecting on their service, many could see themselves as having been served by others as well, and expressed a desire to continue finding way to serve those around them.
“Teachers kind of considered me a bad kid, said one intern. “but this summer, Miss Toni cared about me, she help me see myself as a leader, someone with potential.”
Following the hard work put in throughout the week led up to Experiential Thursdays, where youth left the noise of their immediate surroundings in order to have shared experiences that were meaningful and safe. This culminated in the sixth week when everyone went to camp in Antelope, Oregon for six days. Having laid the foundation of trust amongst youth, we saw them able to more deeply reflect, trust, and engage with one another.
Proteen staff are immensely excited for all of the interns who participated and graduated in this first internship program year, along with the changes made in their attitudes and lives. With the new school year here, we look forward to continuing to support our youth in accomplishing their goals.