06.11.2014

My Summer Internship: Fidel’s Story

By Fidel, Treehouse Student

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Uproot a tree and replant it, chances are, the tree will have difficulties surviving. If you do the same to a human, you can expect similar challenges in adapting to a new world. My name is Fidel. I was born and raised in The Democratic Republic of Congo. In February of 2010, I became a refugee in America. In late June 2012, I and my young sister were getting help with our homework from Treehouse Education Specialist Ms. Shelby after school, when she asked us what our plans are for the summer? I told her my plan for summer was going to summer school and summer camp. Then she told us that she asked us that question because Treehouse could help connect us with have a summer job for teens. To sign up for it, you have to talk to some of your school teachers to write for you a recommendation letter about what they think about you, and how you are doing in their classes, etc. Then she says, it is not too late to and she gave us the website address to sign up.

Northwest Harvest

The next day I went to talk to some of my teachers about the recommendation letter…and they were kind enough to write for me. Also in the same day after school I went home and visited that website and I read about it a little. It says that about 500 plus teens will sign up, and they will interview all. But they will accept only 50 teens for job placement. After reading that I signed myself up knowing that I had really no chance of getting accepted for an interview because I didn’t fit some of the grade requirements. When I found out I got accepted for an interview, I was so happy that day I went to bed with shoes on! I prepared for the interview, by asking my mother to interview me and my oldest sister and Ms. Shelby. Then when I went to do the actual interview, I was so nervous but my mother told me to just control my nervousness and I will do great. I did do that. And a couple weeks later I got the call saying that I got the job, to intern at Northwest Harvest…

The place where I was interning at, which is Northwest Harvest, always inspired me with the help that they offered to people. They help as many people as they could to fight against hunger. And they did not judge anybody. Even though it was difficult to help every single person who came to their door for help. But they really try. I was supposed to work only 20 hours per week, but on my days off my supervisor allowed me to come as volunteer because I was so inspired by them. I thought that I had to give something back to our community.

The best part of interning at Northwest Harvest, was helping people and getting to experience real world work. Also I got to experience taking responsibility of being on time. Through the TIPS Internship I learned that being patient can change your life. I learned that to help or to make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be rich. Only with compassion, generosity and a good kind heart to put a smile on people’s faces is enough in this world today.

“We’ve had many amazing TIPS Interns working with Northwest Harvest since Teens in Public Service was a pilot project. Fidel is one of the best. He has set a very high mark for those who come after. He brings an untiring enthusiasm and positive spirit to work every day! He’s always asking what’s next, a consistent helper and hard worker. I really believe in him, and he’ll be a great asset wherever he goes in the future.”

-Northwest Harvest Staff

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About the Author

 Fidel is one of three Treehouse students that participated in the Teens in Public Service (TIPS) internship program in the summer of 2013.  TIPS helps connect local youth with paid positions in nonprofit organizations every year.  This spring, Education Specialists like Shelby are helping students follow in Fidel’s footsteps so they too can experience their first job interviews and first opportunity to gain real world work experience.  Those youth will have some very big shoes to fill.  Fidel not only won an award from TIPS for his material impact on Northwest Harvest and his untiring enthusiasm and positive spirit, he also received numerous commendations from his supervisors and peers.


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