“Community of Hope has put me in the position where I can start giving back, now as a teenager still in my community,” said Shae’Lynn Ames, Community of Hope intern.
Shae’Lynn Ames is a Washington native, recent graduate from Ballou High School, and an upcoming freshman at Bucknell University. Growing up, Shae’Lynn was always taught how vital having an education was. “My mom always stressed the importance of education and doing well in school. She expected nothing less and enforced it since elementary school.” Shae’Lynn took heed to what her mother always instilled into her and her 10 siblings; she worked extra hard to be a high achiever throughout school. She was not only selected as the valedictorian for the Ballou High School class of 2019 but was also nominated and chosen to be a “POSSE Scholar” and received a full-tuition college scholarship. The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits, and trains individuals with extraordinary leadership potential. Shae’Lynn noted, “I was astonished and so excited when I got the call that I was a POSSE Scholar. I told my mom and dad and my mom started crying. They were so happy. I was happy.”
With college quickly approaching, Shae’Lynn became an intern at Community of Hope through our new partnership with the Urban Alliance Internship (UAI) Program as a way to gain professional development skills before heading to college. The UAI program prepares underserved high school seniors for future economic self-sufficiency through an intensive, year-long experience combining paid, professional internships, job skills training, one-on-one mentoring, and ongoing post-program support. The internship was a perfect opportunity for Shae’Lynn. She stated, “The program is giving students professional development before they have an actual job. It puts us a step ahead and [gives us] the ability to learn new skills. This partnership between Community of Hope and Urban Alliance is a great branch and gives so many opportunities for students like myself.” When Shae’Lynn’s internship started, she hit the ground running working with Community of Hope’s Community Engagement Manager, Sherri Watkins. Shae’Lynn played an active role in the delivery of healthy lifestyle discussions and reproductive health topics at Community of Hope’s Teen Night events. Shae’Lynn also conducted door to door outreach, engaged with the community at our Stanton Commons location, and supported the Development Team with special projects. “I‘ve learned a lot of communication and non-verbal skills, front desk receptionist work, community involvement, networking, and how to present myself professionally. It’s been so much.”
Shae’Lynn is looking forward to starting school in the fall and hopes to become a physical therapist and own a PT practice. She is hopeful that everything she learned during her internship will transfer to her time in college and beyond. Congratulations Shae’Lynn on all your accomplishments – we are very proud of you and wish you the best in your next chapter.