Despite the current political situation, the staff at NSC is always positive about serving clients to the best of their abilities.
In order to highlight the vital work, energy, and perspective that our internship program brings to NSC, communications staff interviewed current interns. Read below for a Q and A with Carolyn Ziembo, Employment Placement and Readiness Intern.
Where are you from? Are you currently in school? Where/what are you studying?
I'm originally from Chicago, Illinois. I'm in my first year at the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Pennsylvania.
What initially attracted you to an internship at NSC?
I previously volunteered in English Language Acquisition (ELA) and citizenship preparation courses in Chicago and central Pennsylvania and loved it. I wanted to continue working with immigrants and refugees to gain more experience in advocating for and empowering this population.
What might a typical day look like during your internship?
Since I'm an intern on the Employment Readiness and Placement team, most of my days consist of interacting with clients enrolled in NSC's employment program. I take clients on escorts throughout Philadelphia, help them fill out paperwork to apply for benefits, childcare, or other services, and teach vocational ESL courses. In whatever I'm doing, I try to use a strengths-based approach to focus on clients' self-determination and successes, providing them with skills they need to achieve confidence and self-sufficiency.
What has been the most meaningful and rewarding part of the work for you?
The most rewarding aspect is when clients take the guidance and support you have provided and successfully travel to and complete appointments on their own, or advocate for themselves! It has been wonderful and humbling to witness so many client successes in such difficult situations.
What do you want folks to know more about NSC--the work we do, the clients we serve, and immigration and refugee service/advocacy in general?
Despite the current political situation, the staff at NSC is always positive about serving clients to the best of their abilities. I have learned so much about the complicated processes refugees undergo to achieve permanent status, as well as how much they have to overcome in the U.S. including adjusting to a new life, culture, and language, all while coping with years of trauma. Although refugees did not want to leave their home countries, they are so committed to supporting themselves and their families now that they have safety in the U.S., and the staff at NSC partners with them to achieve these goals.