My very first day at St. Joseph’s Villa, on June 22nd, 2015, I immediately noticed the overflow of life. The campus was intertwined with vibrant blossoms, timeless architecture which showcased the history of the campus, and the pleasant personalities of every employee.

Partnership for the Future graduation

Destiney with Villa staff and her mother at the Partnership for the Future graduation ceremony.

Before my internship I had no knowledge of the extraordinary services SJV provides for the community. Therefore, my first summer was spent learning the ends and outs of the Villa and the people they serve. I interviewed leaders of every service and even two years later I still remember the advice they shared with me. “Always be compassionate, because you never know what someone else is going through.” “It’s okay to fail, just don’t make the mistake of not learning from failure.” “Find your passion in your career, so you’ll never work another day in your life.” along with many more wise euphemisms. However, the last piece of advice “find your passion” really has stuck with me for the last two years. Through my mentor Drew Melson I explored the different branches of the communications field. The first year I took photographs of the Villa’s campus and researched different marketing techniques. In addition to working with Drew, I offered my time and service to whoever needed it in order to get a more firsthand understanding of various departments. I ended up helping in the operations, grants, volunteer services, day treatment, and integrated services departments. I read, edited, and assembled various policy booklets getting an insider’s look of how the Villa is able to accomplish so much. Furthermore, I shadowed one of our Vistas as she managed the Villa Pals program which allowed students to receive mentors from the community.

Transitioning to my second year I worked primarily with the communications, grants, and volunteer services department. My favorite project from this second summer would have had to be the Day Treatment’s Testimonial Video. I was able to research the service, create interview questions, co-edit, place the transition of clips and special effects, create text/title slides, locate the background soundtrack and mix the audio for the video. This project sparked a fire inside of me; from then on I knew that I wanted to continue to purse video production.  In addition to the video, I worked with grants to set up their database and worked with the volunteer management department ordering back to school supplies and season of hope gifts. Another highlight of my second year was the various events off-campus I was able to attend, including a seminar speaking on the growing amount of LGBTQ youth battling homelessness. While with the Villa I found myself learning so much not only about non-profit services and mental health but also about myself. In fact, these types of events made me start to ponder things that I could do now to the give back to disadvantaged populations.

My final project at the Villa was creating a video for our Career and Transition Services. This project was full of many twist and turns, but in the end we were able to create a video that I am definitely proud of. I hope one day to use my passion for videography to help a cause that I am just as passionate about. I will be forever grateful for all of the things that St. Joseph’s Villa has taught me and the amazing individuals I have been able to meet during my time here. While my summer internship with St. Joseph’s Villa through Partnership for the Future has come to an end this is not a goodbye, more of a see you later.

This post was written by Destiney, who has interned at St. Joseph’s Villa for the past three summers through Partnership for the Future. We wish her all the best as she begins her next exciting phase as a college student!

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