Each year, we’re fortunate to be joined by bright, passionate student interns from local colleges and universities. These interns take on projects, help lead and develop programs, work closely with participants, and are an integral part of the FamilyWorks team. Alas, we are only a part of their learning journeys, and we are now at the bittersweet time of year when we must bid our wonderful interns farewell! Read both of our interns’ reflections below as they look back at the time they spent at FamilyWorks and think about their future goals.
Sam Luna-Patterson (pictured second from left)
As my journey as an intern at FamilyWorks comes to an end, I reflect upon the incredible experiences and personal growth that this program has offered me. My name is Sam, and I have been privileged to pursue my Master in Social Work at the University of Washington. The decision to choose social work aligned perfectly with my passion for people and my desire to build thriving communities. Social work, with its commitment to transforming systems and advocating for those furthest from justice, has allowed me to positively impact the lives of individuals and families.
During my time at FamilyWorks, I had the honor of being part of several remarkable programs. One of the highlights was working alongside Community Connectors, assisting participants in finding the necessary resources within the community. Witnessing the empowerment that came from educating individuals about the available support systems was truly inspiring. Moreover, I took pride in fostering community partnerships and advocating for the needs of our participants. Together, we strived to create an environment where everyone felt supported and heard.
To all the future interns, I would like to offer you valuable advice. Trust your instincts and always remember that you have chosen this path because you genuinely care. Never be afraid to demand change or fight for the rights of your participants. And while you dedicate yourself to this important work, please remember to take care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish; it is essential for sustaining your passion and effectiveness in the long run.
As I look ahead to the next chapter of my journey, I am excited to share that I will be working as a campaign fellow for OneAmerica, an organization devoted to immigrant rights. I am eager to contribute to the ongoing efforts of changing systems that have directly impacted the lives of the individuals I have had the privilege to serve at FamilyWorks. Following this experience, I plan to delve deeper into community mental health, aiming to enhance my therapeutic skills and broaden my ability to make a positive difference.
To all the staff, volunteers, and participants of FamilyWorks, I want to express my deepest gratitude. Thank you for embracing me as part of this incredible community and for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow. It has been an honor to work alongside all of you, and I will carry the memories and lessons learned with me throughout my career. Together, let’s continue building a more just and compassionate world for all.
Jessie Sun (pictured second from right)
My name is Ruohan Sun, and I go by Jessie. I am a senior at UW, double majoring in Sociology and Education, Community, and Organization (ECO). I applied for this internship because I wanted to gain experience working in NPOs and see how organizations like FamilyWorks can work with the community in facilitating people’s lives. I always tell my ECO peers that I got the best capstone internship. As an intern at the Family Resource Center, I participated most in playgroups, Reading Buddies, and data entry. I love the people that I worked with here. They are so loving and supportive that I can learn so much from each one of them. Some advice that I would give to future interns is to always have an open mind and open heart to learn and embrace new things. My plan after my internship is to continue my studies at Columbia University. I will be working on getting a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Social Analysis.