Lauren is doing a summer internship with us, a connection made through Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll’s office. We’re going to be sad when she has to go back to school next month but we feel like we’ve made a lifetime partner in the mission of the YW. This is Lauren’s description of her experience here:
I have only been at the YWCA for a few weeks, but it is already starting to feel like a second home. The YW is such a welcoming and tight knit community of women that I can’t help feeling comfortable and at ease here. The YWCA tries exceptionally hard to reach out to the women and people in Tucson; something that I found most extraordinary is that the people reach right back! In my first week, I have seen so much love and care coming from within the YW; our visitors bring the same compassion when they come in. For example, a woman named Gayle works next door at Pima Community College and bakes pastries for us every week to be sold at the Café@theYW. This is the kind of community that the YWCA creates through its programs.
There is one program, Your Sister’s Closet, which has inspired me more and more as my time here has progressed.
Your Sister’s Closet is donation based and focuses on helping women—all from different chapters of their lives—who are trying to get back on their feet or just need help getting into the work force. Our services range from professional attire to haircuts to job counseling. It has been a wonderful experience to meet so many people from different places and backgrounds, all coming together over the YWCA.
Another part of my summer is answering the phones and running organizational tasks at the front desk. Along with two other volunteers, Alice and Izzy, I get to speak with many of the men and women who visit the YW. One of the best parts about this is the opportunity to find out more about the women that I am helping by spending my summer working here. Sometimes women call because they need someone to listen to their story and offer advice or help. It’s always uplifting to be the one to answer the phone and get to chat with someone I would I have never met if not for the YWCA.
School starts in three weeks, but the summer that I spent here will certainly translate to my life outside of this building. The people I’ve worked with and the things I’ve gleaned about the greater community of Tucson will remain important to me, and I know I’ll always be committed to helping women and girls achieve better lives.