Takisha’s Summer Internship Experience

Takisha Walls When I was offered the summer internship with Youth Villages, I had no idea that it would be this rewarding. I expected to meet some new people, learn new skills, and experience what Memphis had to offer. I ended up falling in love with the staff I worked with and built amazing relationships with youth that I never expected to meet.

Once the internship began, I got the chance to meet college students like myself from all walks of life as well as work with teenage boys ages 13-17 in a residential treatment setting. The youth had emotional and behavioral issues that ranged from aggression to Autism. Everyday I got the chance to interact and make an impact in a child’s life that needed a positive role model. I pushed myself as a leader to teach, counsel, and inspire the youth that I worked with. We played games, taught life skills, and processed feelings with youth that lacked a successful family structure.

Along with doing amazing work, I got the chance to sightsee around Memphis. We took trips to the National Civil rights Museum, Graceland, and had game nights with the staff. This was a big deal for me because I have never lived in another state. Plus, being able to stand in the exact spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated was a powerful experience for me being from his hometown of Atlanta, GA.

I truly enjoyed my experience as a summer intern with Youth Villages. I loved the way the company nurtured us from start to finish. I still keep in contact with several of the fellow interns that I got to know as well as professional contacts that would not mind helping me with my future endeavors. I left Memphis with a new found love for working with children and people, as well as the opportunity to come back to Atlanta and spread the word to my colleagues about the great things Youth Villages has to offer.

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