This summer, Hunger Intervention Program partnered with Teens In Public Service (TIPS) to host three high school interns. These smart, passionate young women helped to design and lead activities that took place across meal sites during the 10-week long Summer Eats program. In this post, intern Tierney shares her experience with HIP’s community.
I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with Hunger Intervention Program this summer. My internship fueled my interest in continuing nonprofit work and opened doors I didn’t even know existed. I have had experiences this summer that I hope to carry with me as I continue beyond my TIPS internship, and for that, I am excited and grateful.
I learned a lot from a lot of people during my internship that I wouldn’t have been able to speak to if I hadn’t gotten this opportunity. I will be the first to admit that I live in a very sheltered bubble where I am limited in my exposure to particular communities and people, and getting to listen to experiences and stories from those at the meal sites impacted me and my views on my city. I am eternally grateful to those with whom I spoke and who shared parts of their lives with me.
I also gained so much respect for the people who run HIP and are there every day, some unpaid, who are spending their time and efforts to help those with food insecurity. It is that kind of work with purpose that I genuinely admire and would love to continue to be a part of. HIP’s staff is an unbelievably welcoming and kind group of people who I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last few months. Coincidentally, the time I have been at my placement has been some of the most challenging weeks I have had in my personal life, but my supervisor Ryan was so supportive and understanding when I needed to deal with certain situations, so thank you, Ryan. That goes to show the kind of community HIP harbors and how exceptional it is.
I believe the most impactful contribution I made at HIP was going to meal sites and getting to provide food security to those who came. Knowing that I played a role in ensuring that someone got at least one meal that day struck me because I am fortunate enough that it’s not something I have to think about daily. I also feel impactful in the activities my fellow interns and I planned and executed. Being someone who returned to meal sites and hung out with the kids was amazing because I got to form relationships with them, be a part of their day, and hopefully provide fun activities for them.
I have had so many moments during my internship that have impacted my life in numerous ways, so it is difficult to choose just one. However, I think the most memorable moments were when I would hang out with the kids, whether doing activities, serving meals, or playing games. I had so much fun, even when I was getting Ritz crackers dumped in my hair, getting ice cream all over my shirt, or getting a career aptitude test from a twelve-year-old (I got Starbucks barista). One of the best feelings is seeing how excited the kids are to see me. When we get to the meal sites, they run up to the car and are so eager to help us unload, and it melted my heart when I was making puppets at a site, and a little girl looked up and told me she loved me. We can learn a lot from kids, and I loved being a part of their lives this summer.
This summer at Hunger Intervention Program has been nothing short of amazing. I value every experience I have had, and I am ecstatic to continue working in the nonprofit sphere. As my time at my placement ends, I look back at it with nothing but joy, and I am so sad to see it end.
Tierney is Hunger Intervention Program’s summer intern through Teens in Public Service. She is a North Seattle local and a rising senior at Lakeside School. Tierney is passionate about providing food security to her community and is thrilled to be able to do that through HIP! She plays lacrosse and spends time with her friends and three dogs in her free time.