Life After Renewal House
Here I am in week nine of my internship at Renewal House, and I can’t believe the end is so near. In nine weeks I have learned more than I have in an entire semester of class. I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was, and when I say strong I don’t mean staying up until 4 a.m. to finish a paper strong, I mean taking on the struggle of ten other people and still maintaining your life strong. We’ve all had friends vent to us and given advice, but the stories I’ve heard are much more than a fight with a significant other. These are stories of people getting mentally beaten down to the core, physically battered and bruised, and these individuals still being able to rise up again. Simply explaining a domestic violence victim’s options, and breaking down the situation for them gives them so much insight and power that they never knew they had. Being able to provide that power is empowering in and of itself.
Similarly, I have also learned although you work a Monday-Friday 8-4 job, every day is far from the same. Schedules are always changing, new clients are forever coming in, and people get sick. No matter who is in, or not in the office you need to make a client feel like they are the priority. Whatever you came to work with needs to get left at the door, you are now there to help others and make them your number one priority. Appropriate client service is essential, and smiles with a pleasant tone go a long way toward putting people in difficult circumstances at ease.
Here at Renewal House I have had anything but a typical internship experience. Sure completing a specific project or two for the summer would have been a good learning experience, but being treated just like a permanent staff member has really pushed me to reach my full potential and learn as much as possible. All of the staff believed in my potential, and that gave me the confidence to accompany victims to court, facilitate emotional support sessions, enter clients into safe housing, and anything else that was needed of me. From my work at Renewal House I have learned to never turn down a challenge; although what is ahead may seem daunting, the feeling of completing that task will be well worth the stress and work you experience beforehand.
As a rising senior, there are a million things running through my head on a daily basis about grad school, student loans, and life after SLU. However after spending this time at Renewal House, I now have a straighter path that I plan to go down. Although I don’t think I could be an advocate for a lifelong career, I certainly believe it is something that would be I would be interested in post-graduation. Being at Renewal House has validated my interest in the social work field for a possible master’s degree. In a ten week span I have learned more than I could have ever imagined, and I have SLU PIC and Renewal House to thank for all of it.