If someone would have told me four months ago how hard it would be to leave my internship, I would not have believed them. As a lot of things do, my internship started off rocky. I was very unsure of myself and was convinced that as an intern, there was not much I could contribute to Denver Rescue Mission. There were times I felt that my work was sub-par and that I would never be able to write three blog posts that were good enough to post for a large organization. It was different than writing for the Hope College Off-Campus Study Blog. So many more people were going to see it, and there were a lot more design pieces to it than I thought I would ever know how to do. I felt so small in an organization that has hundreds of employees and is considered one of the largest rescue missions in the United States. That alone was intimidating.
Throughout my internship, I had the chance to learn from people all throughout the development team and so many more. From working with the CEO Brad Meuli to film his retirement video, to simply keeping track of important numbers on social media, each piece is crucial to ensuring that the Mission is thriving. I learned so much about the amount of work that goes into the newsletters by transcribing them and even having the chance to help write one of the smaller sections for one that will come out in July. There is so much more to each piece than you think, both in the newsletters that are published and with each position that someone holds. Each one is important in its own way. Without each person doing their job to the best of their ability, nothing would ever be achieved, which is why it is important to always show appreciation.
Appreciation for learning and helping others leads you to learning what your passions are. Because I had the opportunity to work in so many different areas of public relations teams, it gave me time to learn what I did and did not enjoy doing. I learned how much I enjoy photography and being able to tell people’s stories through pictures. Getting to work at the Easter Banquet at the 48th Avenue Center was one of the best experiences I had while I was here. Because I interned in public relations, I do not have the opportunity to have much, if any, contact with guests at different facilities or participants in the programs, but for Easter I did. There were two banquets at two locations at the same time. So Linneya, the content specialist, went to one to do pictures, and I was tasked with doing the other. At first I was intimidated, as I had never picked up a good camera before this semester, and it is a slow learning process. But from the beginning, Linneya worked with me to teach me the basics.
Working at the banquet allowed me to not only learn more and improve my photography skills, but also to actually interact with guests. It was intimidating at first because it requires having people sign a photo release form. But when I thought about it more, it was not about simply getting the picture for the Mission to use. It was about sitting down and talking to people, learning about them and their hobbies, and then if they were willing to get a picture. Not everyone wants that, which is completely fine. But those that I got to sit and talk with were what made the experience so much better. They had happiness for where they were at the moment. So often in the United States especially, we take for granted the things that we have, places we live, and accessibility of everything. But if that is all taken away, people have to focus on something else. The Mission is here to provide hope – to provide a safe space where people can come and work on improving their life if they want to. I got to be a part of something so special and truly make an impact on someone’s day. Even if it was the only positive thing that happened to them, it was something. And that small something can turn into so much more without us even realizing it.
This internship has been one of the best experiences of my life. Everyone at the Mission is so kind and only want to help the guests, as well as the interns. I am going to miss all of the people more than I ever could have expected. I am glad I get to walk away with so many great connections, friends, and family. Denver Rescue Mission will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks for reading, until next time,
Aurora Franzon 2024