I will admit I was a bit nervous before the fellowship began. My main fear was that my expectations of my internship, the other fellows, and the fellowship as a whole were too high. But my fear was shattered to pieces once I arrived. My entire experience this summer has exceeded my high expectations: my internship at Church Health is the perfect fit for me, I already have plans for weekly video calls with some of the fellows after we leave here, and all the programming for the fellowship has been enlightening, inspiring, and incredible.
Interning at The Well at Church Health has been an amazing experience for me, allowing me to implement and observe the skills and theories I have learned in the classroom, as well as giving me confidence beyond my wildest dreams (this week I am in charge of choreographing and teaching a dance class for families—and as someone who hung up her ballet shoes around age six, this opportunity is something I never would have imagined myself courageous enough to take on).
This past weekend, after our second fellow Shabbat, I went with a few other fellows to the Rumba Room dance club where we participated in a Bachata (a type of dance and music from Latin America) dance lesson. Then on Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early to volunteer at the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen where we helped give out clothes and food to those in need, an interaction that reminded many of us of how much we take for granted everyday. On Saturday night, many of us went to Levitt Shell to attend New Memphis’s V.I.P. event that one of the fellows helped put on. With delicious food, Mempops, and great music, the night was a huge success.
It is hard to believe that the summer is more than halfway over, and with only a few weekends left, I am excited to fill them with more adventures with other fellows to create life long memories.
As I enter my senior year at The University of Texas at Austin, this is my last real summer break before I emerge into the working world of adults. With that in mind, I was determined to make this a summer of growth, fun, exploration, and of meaning. At my internship at Start Co, a startup accelerator, I have the opportunity to see innovative and entrepreneurial (startup) businesses operate up close and personal. The work is interesting, fast-paced, and collaborative – I am learning so much and love it.
I have acquainted myself with Rhodes College, a local liberal arts school in Midtown, making a commitment to run there and back every day after work, with a workout in between. In my free time, the cohort and I have explored all the amazing excursions Memphis offers. My favorites include Overton Square, The Levitt Shell, Shelby Farms, Beale Street, The National Civil Rights Museum, Railgarten, and Loflin Yard! Furthermore, one cannot mention Memphis without talking about the incredible food offerings. There are too many to count, but my favorites so far are Central BBQ, Elwood’s Shack, Cafe Eclectic, LBOE, and Gus’s Fried Chicken. Uncle Lou’s, Gibson’s Donuts, and Rendezvous are next up on the list!
Aside from the ephemeral, I have felt at home here in the Mid-South. From visiting Temple Israel, to weekly Fellowship Shabbats, to being welcomed into local Jewish families’ homes, I have been greeted with warm smiles and open arms. Recently returning from a study trip in Israel this past June, it is comforting to share the summer with fifteen other Jewish adolescents. While not all activities we participate in are explicitly Jewish in nature, it is rewarding and meaningful being able to share these experiences with them. With 4th of July in the rearview mirror, it is surreal time has flown by so quickly. Having one month left in the Fellowship, I aspire to continue growing – towards seizing the day! This means continuing trying new things, visiting new places, eating new foods, and experiencing them with my cohort.