Hi! My name is Kayla Wilson and I came to Hopeworks on recommendation from another organization, called Valley Youth House. Originally, I came to Hopeworks to build my technical skills to grow my mutual aid collective, Metamorphosis, and to pursue college. Once I started gaining experience through the training room I realized that there was a lot I could offer to Hopeworks with my previous nonprofit experience and peer support. Working with Hopeworks training room manager, Erich Smith, we were able to combine two existing internships: the Training Room Internship and the Youth Healing Team internship to create a Community Building internship. Community building is especially important at this time of virtual learning and working, as many youth, myself included, came to Hopeworks during the pandemic.
As the Community Building Intern, I facilitate two groups per week. One of the groups is focused on the professional development and networking aspects of community building. The other group is a support group that focuses on the social-emotional aspects of community building and gives our trainees and interns a place to connect. Since starting my internship about two months ago I am able to meet with 3 different youth one-on-one to support their needs as well as facilitate a group chat with 10+ active members.
We have great participation so far in our two weekly groups and I am looking forward to bringing more of my trauma-informed training, provided by the Youth Healing Team, into the community space as well. I love being able to support my peers in a way that feels meaningful, especially with times like we are experiencing now! Often it feels that since we are virtual we miss out on the casual talk and bonding that happens in an office setting. I am excited to help myself and others at Hopeworks to have a safe place to connect and relax with each other. I am also grateful to Hopeworks for being so supportive of this new role and helpful in implementing it.