Time to get the ball rolling

It’s my second week here at FMF and I’m finally starting to do some of the things I was hired to do as a program intern, which is exciting! Last week was a lot of getting my “sea legs;” finding my way around the office, remembering faces and then names of co-workers and current guests at The Nest, learning which key goes to which door (and at FMF, there are a lot of keys…everywhere). After helping out where needed, and figuring my way around the place and the rhythm of FMF, this week marks my first week of self-led programming!

Tonight, I am hosting a board game event for the teen residents at The Nest, during the normal evening programming. I made some fun flyers, and am bringing in some snacks with the hopes that they want to spend an hour of their time with me, the new- slightly awkward intern. While I’m only 21, I definitely feel a slight disconnect from the teens at the Nest, something that I’ve never had before. I think I attribute it to my position now as an “adult” of sorts; with a lanyard and keys and a name-badge to separate me as a working member of the staff. I’m sure in the future this will only be more commonplace, me being in the “adult space” and trying to connect with teenagers and young adults.

There are only five teens currently residing in the shelter, and with the constant fluctuation (as guests end their stay after 90 days) programming can be a bit tricky to create a long-lasting series of activities, and have participation. However, I am hopeful that by starting off with some light games and fun, I can ease into what the teens actually want to do and learn about during the course of my time here at FMF, along with theirs. My plan is to start the more formal programming next week, either talking about college apps and summer jobs, or how to stay healthy through meditation, mindful eating habits, and outdoor outings…depending on what the teens seem inclined towards.

My other part of my job, working with the after-care families and checking in on how they’ve been has yet to start. One thing I’ve realized about FMF is that it’s a great organization, but there’s an ever-lasting need for more hands on deck, more help, more resources…just more in general. I think this is kind of what the nonprofit world is like in a nutshell, because of the nature of the job, there Is always a lot to do, but not a lot of resources in order to get those things done. I know my boss has been extremely busy getting me and a couple other interns for the summer properly trained and welcomed to the team, but I am hoping that at our weekly check-in we will be able to get the ball rolling on the research aspect of my time at FMF.

That’s all I got for now…

Sloan Talbot is a rising senior from Ypsilanti, Michigan majoring in Cultural Anthropology with a Certificate in Ethics & Society. She is one of seven fellows in the Kenan Purpose Program

Sloan is a passionate advocate for greater access to resources for historically disadvantaged groups. At Duke, she is deeply involved in creating a community for first-generation college students. She is hoping to discern whether non-profit work is a possible career avenue for her this summer with Families Moving Forward, an innovative organization supporting families attempting to transition out of homelessness.

Sloan Talbot is an undergraduate student researcher, a participant of Kenan’s Summer Purpose Program, Freshman Focus, Duke Immerse, SuWA, and Citizenship Lab.

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