Reflections of a Trinity Center Intern

By Bethany Bishop

BSW Intern
Tarleton State University

bethany joMy internship at Trinity Center was short, only 13 weeks, but meaningful. Before I was offered an opportunity to intern at Trinity Center, I had worked with many people who were dealing with situations of “crisis,” but I had never worked with people experiencing homelessness. So I was nervous that I was not adequate to take on what I had perceived to be a challenge out of my control.

I knew the reason for homelessness was part personal choice and part systemic failure to help those wanting to change their situations. I also knew that I wanted to take full advantage of my internship, to be challenged with a hands-on experience to learn as much as possible about a population I was not familiar with.

What I didn’t know was that I would fall in love with a community that has taught me more about myself as an individual and as a professional than I could have imagined.

I fell in love with Trinity Center and what the organization stands for. Trinity Center is not a place of judgment or pity by the haves for the have-nots. It is a place of unity, fellowship and compassion shared by people from all walks of life. To best explain Trinity Center in its simplest form, it is a community center. It is a place for people to gather, to lean on each other and to feel welcomed just as they are.

I fell in love with the staff of Trinity Center. Though small, the staff is the epitome of teamwork, dedication and commitment. They are passionate about their roles in the organization and take action at the micro, mezzo and macro level advocating on the behalf of others.

Within a few weeks of my placement I felt secure and confident in my role as an intern, because of the support I received from each staff member. I was accepted immediately into the tight-knit family and was treated as an equal. I was never given busy work to fill up my time, and I never felt the reigns were being pulled back because I was “just an intern.” I was given meaningful and challenging work. The supportive environment created by the staff makes Trinity Center an ideal learning environment for any helping profession.

I fell in love with the people of Trinity Center. The staff, the volunteers and the neighbors together create Trinity Center — a community many people call their temporary home. I was able to connect with people in a way I had never been given the opportunity to do before. I will never deserve the amount of love and knowledge I gained from everyone at Trinity Center during my short visit. It was, by far, the best decision for  me as an undergraduate to choose Trinity Center for my internship, and I will be forever grateful.