Goals and Reflections of a Summer Intern

It’s hard to believe that my time as an intern at Campus Kitchens is almost over, I’m headed home for a visit in less than two weeks, and when I return there will only be a couple weeks left of my internship. I went into this summer with one main goal, and that was to really get to know the clients that Campus Kitchens serves. I won’t pretend that I know everyone’s name or everything about them, but I definitely think that I have learned a lot from our clients, and have begun to build what I believe will be strong and long lasting relationships with many of them, in particular I have grown close to many of the kids at the Summer Fun program, and the residents at the Manor.

I expected to love working with the kids at Summer Fun, as the majority of my service as a Bonner Scholar has been with kids in Lexington area schools, (in fact I know several of the kids in the program from previous volunteer experiences). What I did not expect, was how much I have come to love going to the Manor. The first time I went to the Manor, it was because the kid’s programs hadn’t started up yet, so I was just going with on all of the adult shifts. By the end of my first visit, I found that I really enjoyed meeting with the residents and hearing of their life experiences. I have spoken to people at the Manor who hail from all over the country and have had a vast array of different circumstances shape their lives. The time I have spent on the Manor has refreshed the importance of providing both companionship and nutritious meals in order to satisfy the needs of our clients. It has also taught me how much there is to learn from other people and their stories, more than anything else I think it has helped me understand in a deeper sense the importance of the work Campus Kitchens, and other relief agencies like it do for the communities they work in.

This summer I have gained a better understanding of the work Campus Kitchens does, as I have had the opportunity both to witness behind the scenes fundraising and administrative work, and up-front client interaction on a much larger scale. As my internship winds down, and I look toward the next school year, I hope to continue to volunteer at the Manor and at the school year’s version of Summer Fun aka Lexington Office on Youth; so that I can further develop the bonds I have formed with our clients, and continue to learn more from and about them.

Interning @ CKWL

I first volunteered at Campus Kitchens in October of my freshmen year during Bonner Scholar Orientation, we did a cooking shift, and then a delivery to Glasgow. After this first time volunteering at the kitchen, I found that I was really interested in learning more about it and volunteering on a regular basis. I started coming to the Sunday cooking shifts every week, and joined the leadership team that spring after deciding that I wanted to make a more intensive commitment to working at the kitchen.

This year I got a chance to see more of the diverse array of clients that Campus Kitchens works with, and after spending my Feb Break volunteering at the kitchen all day, I decided that I would really like to stay in Lexington this summer and intern at the kitchen.

I am excited to get to know more about the sites and clients that we serve at Campus Kitchens this summer, but first  I will tell you all a little about me.  My name is Angelica, and I am a rising junior at Washington and Lee. As a Bonner Scholar my main service sites are Waddell Elementary, Natural Bridge Elementary, and of course, Campus Kitchens. I am also working to set up a college mentoring program at the high school, and in the coming school year that will become a primary placement for me as well.

This summer I will be working primarily with the youth related shifts, as I am very interested in education and issues related to childhood poverty. We have already begun summer nutrition programs with the YMCA summer camp and the Summer Fun program, and I am excited to report that we have had a lot of fun teaching nutrition to the kids so far! I know a few of the kids already from volunteering at Waddell, as well as from the nutrition/cooking class that we taught as an after-school program for kids during winter term. I am excited to get to know the ones I don’t already know throughout the summer.

In addition to working with the youth programs, I will also be working on the Manor delivery shifts. Last week, I was fortunate enough to go to the Manor for the first time, since the youth programs had not yet begun, and I found that I really connected with and enjoyed meeting the residents there. So, after talking to Jenny, we have added that to my schedule for this summer, and I will be heading to the Manor every Monday and Wednesday.

I am also excited to learn more about the administrative sides of Campus Kitchens this summer, so far I have begun to put together meal plans and enter our food donation and HAACP information into the computer. I am interested in learning a little about grant writing, as well, this summer.

Anyway, that is all I have to report so far, but keep reading the Campus Kitchens blog for more updates this summer.