Tree Street’s Summer Internship program provides 6-8 young adults with an intensive capacity-building experience in youth development and education. From mid-June to early August, Interns live in the diverse Lewiston, Maine community, teach K-5 camp classes, and coordinate afternoon enrichment activities with local teenagers. They build relationships with at-risk youth and one another as they immerse themselves in the Lewiston community. Through training, service, and reflection, the Internship Program is designed to facilitate the personal and professional growth of Interns. As the summer program’s primary teachers, Interns can expect to gain knowledge and skills related to education, youth-development, and nonprofit service.
Every weekday morning, Interns present opening program, assist with literacy class, and teach one of four camp classes (Art, Recreation, Hodgepodge, Tree Street Values) for the 80-plus Kindergarten to 5th graders attending.
When morning camp ends, Interns coordinate activities for 6th – 12th grade students according to each Intern’s talents and interests. Previous classes included art, debate, improv, Bollywood dancing, poetry, karate, boys group, girls group, origami, and more.
The goal of the Intern program is based on the integration of two fundamental motivators: personal growth and meaningful contribution to the society through service.
Service at Tree Street means more than acts of charity and volunteerism. It is understood as the inclusion of talents and abilities to the elevation of community and society and as the infusion of day-to-day activities with intentional care and generosity. The Tree Street Intern has the responsibility of cultivating their unique capacities and channeling them towards the well-being of Tree Street’s youth.
Those interested in an internship at Tree Street should understand that they develop as much, if not more, than those they serve. In assisting the development of others, Tree Street Interns recognize the need to exercise their own physical, intellectual, and moral abilities to meet the tasks before them. Theirs is the challenge to engage with culturally and racially diverse youth (grades preK-12) from ‘at risk’ communities, to understand acculturation processes amongst immigrant/refugee populations, to negotiate cross-cultural environments, to acknowledge and address symptoms and causes of socioeconomic disparity, to support educational achievement, to foster constructive resilience, and to encourage compassion and inclusion across lines of difference.