We are half way done and the experience continues to be rewarding. I went to the USF Career Fair last month and got to meet great companies that offer job opportunities to students. Definitely good interview practice. When I approached the first company, I was feeling nervous but as I pushed myself to speak to recruiters, I felt more at ease.
I also learned about Suit-A-Bull https://www.usf.edu/career-services/students/suit-a-bull.aspx, I was extremely impressed with the appearance of this boutique, professionalism and the rental process. Through the partnership of USF Career Services and local partners who donate business attire, USF students rent these for a couple of days. Students are able to look amazing and professional without spending a fortune.
As the semester advances to its culmination, we continue to participate with OCEP events. This month we have the University-Community Match-Up. This is where USF University Departments get together with organizations in the community to rekindle or form new partnerships. I will inform you later this month of that experience. In the meantime keep running towards the goal!
Hola! Last week we had a short week in the office. On Monday, September 3rd, we celebrated Labor Day. This holiday was first celebrated in the United States on Tuesday, September 5, 1988. Toronto, Canada was ahead of us, since their Labor Day celebration started in 1872. CNN reported that as of July 18, 2018, there were more than 160 million people in the labor force in the United States. As of a couple of seconds ago the U.S. population was at 328,560,926. These numbers indicate that approximately half of the U.S. population consist of children, elderly and/or unable to work adults.
On Friday I got the opportunity to attend the Labor Human Trafficking workshop. The Immokalee Florida Coalition was a presenting force in this event. This organization works towards labor justice in the agriculture sector. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has been recognized for achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking and gender based violence at work. Social responsibility consists of consumers and producers being aware and not participating in the purchase or selling of goods that are a product of mistreated or abused farm workers. I enjoyed this event, but honestly got a little lost when they spoke about boycotting two of my favorite places because they don't belong to their Fair Food Program. I do understand their vision, but I wonder if there could be a different approach than boycotting a business that provides employment to another set of workers.
The Office of Community Engagement & Partnerships (OCEP) has facilitated and encouraged me to attend different community events. I took the I.M.P.A.C.T Tour of East Tampa, provided by the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc., (CDC). Also attended the Safe Zone Education about the LGBTQ+ community and will be volunteering in the Labor Human Trafficking Summit; taking place this Friday, September 7th. Will definitely let you know of this experience.
I was impressed with the organizational model, mission and accomplished work of the CDC. Ellen Stoffer who is the Vice President of Program Services of CDC, shared that the need of the community is great, but in order to operate successfully, the corporation had to focus on the following four areas; Youth Success, Workforce Development, Homeownership and Real Estate Development. In the tour I was able to see the impact that CDC continues to have in the East Tampa Area.
The Safe Zone Education instructed me about the LGBTQ+ community and the struggles they experience. I got a glimpse of how excluded they feel and how society contributes to that feeling. This is a good training to go and is open to all students. https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/multicultural-affairs/programs/safe-zone.aspx
Knowledge is Power!
Hey yall! Its week three of the internship and things are beginning to pick up in the office. Moving on in this internship, I think I am beginning to find my "niche." In the past week, I attended an Impact Tour around East Tampa hosted by the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa (CDC). This tour enlightened us on the current developments of the area and how the CDC is using their platform to improve the lives of the people in the community in a positive way. For example, the CDC have a program to allow new homebuyers to purchase a home for the first time as well as teach them to manage their money in order to keep their new home. The CDC also has a program called the Youth Success Center where they focus on developing the youth to be leaders in the future. This program allows for those in the program to go on college tours, as well as, aiding them to receive scholarships to attend colleges. On top of this, the CDC’s Youth Success Center promotes STEM for the young women in the program. This is an amazing way to encourage females to follow their dreams in a male dominated field. The CDC is doing a great job in advocating for its clients and creating equal opportunity for those who are at a disadvantage.
While interning here, I am gaining awareness about the community and ways to become more involved. I cannot wait to see what the next weeks has to offer!
Before I dive into sharing my internship experience, I have to brag about the OCEP staff. They truly have been amazing, not only have they made themselves available to mentor, but have adopted us as their own (that is how I feel). Please meet the wonderful OCEP staff: https://www.usf.edu/engagement/about/about_us.aspx
Last week I went to a couple of interesting meetings. The first one was the Refugee Task Force. Here, community agencies gather together to bring awareness on important issues affecting refugees. Some topics were, but not limited to, refugee children being bullied at school, lack of adult employment and education. The Refugee Task Force works with community partners to propel this population for a brighter and successful future. I also sat in the University Area Impact Awards committee meeting. This is where individuals are recognized and awarded for their impact within the community area.
This internship has enhanced my awareness that involvement = change.
Oh! I must not forget. I also went to the Feed-A-Bull Food Pantry. Yes! We have one and is free to all students. I got some cereals, toothpaste, can food, etc... Go check it out!
No shame here!
First week of my internship down, 14 more to go! Within the first week, I have learned about the inter-workings of a macro setting position. Before coming into this internship, I knew that the micro setting would not be the best option for me. The thought of having to interview clients intimidated me to a great degree. After the first week of seeing how the OCEP collaborate with various organizations, I know that I am on the right path in my career.
One of the highlights from this week was being able to dive more into my criminal justice passion. Thanks to one of the amazing employees in the office, I learned about a grad student here at USF who piloted a program where they go into a local prison and teach creative writing to the inmates in the facility. Being able to help with this project, I learned that Florida has the third largest prison population in the United States but also have very little educational programs for their inmates. If I had not took the chance to participate in this project, I would have received this information at a later time in my career. Continuing on with the criminal justice aspect, I was also able to research more on the Prison Strikes that are taking place now across the States. I hope to be able to write a post surrounding the dynamics of that as well later in the week. Below I have a few links supporting the stats I found and a brief introduction to the Prison Strikes.
All in all, the first week has been a great learning opportunity and I look forward to the many new things I will be learning in the weeks to follow!
"Movin' to the rhythm of my intuition anything I want I speak into existence" - Russ
For the next few months, we will be writing posts to share our experiences inside the office. We have some major events coming up that we are excited to attend! Some of these events includes the End Human Trafficking that will be taking place September 7th and the Sunshine Summit that will be October 29th and 30th. Stay tuned to hear all about the crazy adventures we will be getting into!
"Wild horses run faster, run faster, run faster!" - Bishop Briggs
This blog will highlight our experiences as interns at the Office of Community Engagement and Partnership.