In short, our summer interns have been amazing. We hosted three engineering (civil and mechanical) majors from Georgia Tech - Adrienne, Eric, and Luke - thanks to the GlenTech Fund at the Georgia Tech Foundation. And Samantha also joined us from Tulane University made possible by the Arthur M. Blank Foundation. We loved the energy and creativity these students brought to our team this summer!
And they kept busy! From demolition work on one of our housing properties and setting up our online ordering system for Carver Market to helping us prepare for our upcoming move and creating healthy smoothie recipes for Community Grounds, they have pitched in anywhere and everywhere. Adrienne says, "Working with a nonprofit, you never really know what your day might include, but it's the atmosphere that makes it interesting. You just have to be prepared to do what is asked of you."
We are grateful for the work they contributed this summer, but we also value the things they take away from serving with us. Samantha, who worked closely with our grocery store and coffee shop, says, "I've learned more about the issue of food access in Atlanta and the organizations that work to solve it. It's inspiring to see that these organizations are not only striving towards their own objectives but also embracing collective action to tackle complex problems facing our city." She created a Smoothie Recipe contest to engage youth with the store and discover healthy alternatives to try on our menu.
Eric got involved with FCS after he heard Bob Lupton speak at his church, Grace Midtown. His lesson from the summer is a valuable reminder to us all. "One of the most important things I've learned (or been reminded of) is that when an organization like FCS coming into a neighborhood, God is already there and actively working. We need to remember that we aren't the saviors; we need to be humble and open to the fact that our neighbors may end up impacting us more than we impact them. Our job is simply to live life with the people in the neighborhood; not to try to fix or rescue them, but to do our best to be loving friends and neighbors."
We have been so thankful for their hard-working and generous spirits on our team this summer. As they head back to school, we hope what they learned will impact their future endeavors. We are humbled and encouraged by words like Luke's when he says, "FCS gives context to what a thriving, impactful nonprofit is and does. Having seen this, I have developed a desire to work in an environment and with a mission like FCS... I want my vocation to have the local and lasting impact on a poor community that FCS does, and I want my personal life to be marked by strong community ties."
Adrienne adds, "Before this internship, I know I had a passion for serving others and civil engineering, but wasn't quite sure how they would intertwine. This [time with FCS] has allowed me to combine both of these, and I hope to keep that combination in the future."
We wish all our interns the best as they say good-bye to us and return to school. We know they will go on to make a difference in the world! We are so grateful to the GlenTech Fund at the Georgia Tech Foundation and the Arthur M. Blank Foundation for partnering with us to provide such terrific interns!