Community Interaction Partnership (CIP)

Jessica Parada, CIP Student, with NEST students at her going away party.  She graduated from Southwestern University in May 2015 and wrote this letter conveying her experience with The Georgetown Project.

Hello everyone!

I want to personally tell you about the special role the Georgetown Project played in my life. I can only hope to convey the importance of having a partnership between the Southwestern community and The Georgetown Project.

As a psychology and Spanish double major I had many path’s that I could have taken when I graduated, and like many other seniors, my problem was figuring out which one I was meant to take. As I searched for internships that would give me more experience in working with children, I luckily found the Georgetown Project. Through them I learned about what a great resource they are to the Georgetown community, but also what great learning opportunities they have for any eager college student. I was able to utilize my Spanish degree by teaching ESL to adults, watch the developmental stages come to life in the toddlers at Toddler time, work creatively with the middle school students, as well as build social skills, life skills and make lifelong connections with the high school students at the NEST. Had it not been for the programs’ willingness to provide me the space to grow and experience the beauty of helping people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic status’ and levels of education I don’t think I would have walked away as successful as I am now. It was a lot of work, I can’t say these experiences came easy, all week long I would go from one program to the next, from one location to the other all within Georgetown. At Southwestern we sometimes say that we are in a bubble, a bubble that sometimes hides us from the changes and difficulties that the Georgetown community is facing. The Georgetown project helped me step out of my Southwestern home and apply what I had learned on paper - to real life. I was given the opportunity to engage with the community, listen for what it needed and mold the knowledge that I had, to fit each part of the community that I was there to help. As southwestern students like to call it, I was having constant Paideia moments.

I became very close with all The Georgetown Project staff and with the community. This internship helped me learn about myself, my goals, and my passion. I am proud to say that my involvement with The Georgetown Project has led me to working at a Children’s Advocacy Center – Alliance for Children in Arlington, TX. I am a Family Advocate and work with families who have been victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, and/or have witnessed a traumatic event. Many of the skills I had going into this job came from my background at The Georgetown project. I am honored to have worked for this wonderful organization and hope that you see the great effect and influence that it has on the community it serves and on the students that it molds.

Thank you

Jessica J. Parada

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Young people need to be Ready by 21 to compete in today’s competitive job market. The Community Interaction Partnership between The Georgetown Project and Southwestern University links local college students eligible for federal work study with youth in our programs—building marketable job skills, leadership and community engagement in local college students while providing important services and caring relationships for at-risk youth of all ages. We have employed 150 SU students in work projects serving over 3,000 Georgetown youth in this program in the past 10 years .

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