Hello, hello! My name is Anastasia Martinez, I am a senior at THE Ohio State University (you have to emphasize “the” to be a true buckeye) and am studying Public Affairs (Godspeed John Glenn) with a focus in Education Policy. I am a proud product of the East Side of Toledo, Ohio (#419er/ #MuddTown/ #GlassCity). I have the honor of blogging about my experiences both with the Columbus Foundation Fellowship and Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services.
I should give you an overview of ETSS before I go on and on about how great they are. ETSS is an independent nonprofit agency serving refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in Central Ohio.They assist immigrant, refugee families, and low income individuals in Central Ohio improve the quality of their lives. They do this through their Adult programs, where they not only teach English and 21st century job skills, but place individuals in a job opportunity and assist them in sustaining the job. The youth program (where I will be focusing) was created to give children a safe, nurturing, educational space while parents are working. This is divided into the after-school program and the summer camps.
The past week has been incredible. I learned I will be working closely with the Youth Coordinator, Brittany Baker, because she is leaving in July to work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia (how cool is that?!). To make the transition smoother when she leaves, I will be slowly taking over responsibilities and tasks as the summer progresses. Right now I’m working on the Youth Summit, which is an end of the summer celebration between all 4 summer camps, with over 300 youth in attendance. This is the last day of the summer camp and is meant to be a fun day filled with speakers, workshops and cultural activities. The theme this year is “Youth Voices Matter: Living Across Cultures” and the main focus is self-identity and pride within yourself and sharing that with others.
The biggest aspect I love about interning at ETSS is everyone is doing a million things. It might sound hectic and overwhelming but I’d much rather be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off than sitting at my desk doing nothing. Every task you do here is so greatly appreciated because everyone is so busy. This is the first place where I’ve received hugs for getting a bus schedule done on time and I have to say, I love it!
So, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for the next Episode of “Summer Camp 2016: ETSS Edition” and I’ll leave with a photo of last year’s Youth Summit. Look at those smiling faces. 🙂