My internship really makes me happy. It has its moments of frustration, difficulty, and heartbreak, but over all, I consider myself really lucky to be in the position I am. I am interning as a counselor and art therapist for a city run youth center.
All services are free, which I think is particularly important when assisting under served populations - paying money when in need of counseling should not be the added stress that it usually is. And the services are a plenty. The youth center runs primarily on a systematic approach - so we are working with the kids, their families, the community, the schools, the police and the justice system, and the social services. Counseling is available for groups of kids, for individual kids, for individual families or groups of families, and for couples who have a kid also receiving some sort of service. There are also psychoeducational groups run at the schools. There are gang intervention groups and prevention groups. There are sports groups, music groups, theater groups, and now... art groups! There is the "Safe Zone" which is just an open space the kids can come and go out of everyday after school - it is AMAZING and offers TVs, pool tables, pinball machines, and video games. There is also a music studio with a recording booth. There is a lot of involvement in these kids lives. My role is not simply counselor/art therapist but also tutor, mentor, advocate, teacher, and even switching roles in some instances and being their student.
It makes me so happy to be able to feel like my work is an act of love and to love my work (this is particularly important since I don't get paid)!!! I am also excited and pleased to know that each day is different. I hate feeling stagnant or bored at work. I love the freedom I have to integrate ideas I think are important. I love being involved with individuals, families, and community members - it feels like change is a more achievable here than in my previous institutionalized settings. I feel actively engaged and incredibly happy and lucky to be at this site with these kids. I'm sure the rest of the year will be an crazy ride. I'll be interested in what I have to say about my internship once it is done.
What makes you happy about your job? Why do you do what you do?