When learning about all the internships that I could work at for my Family and Human Services program at the University of Oregon, Hosea Youth Services was an agency that really caught my eye. It was a program that seemed very active in the community that they were serving and I really wanted to be a part of that process. I learned quickly that the staff, interns, and volunteers that work there go above and beyond to make sure the youth that come to Hosea get their needs met and make sure these youths feel respected and heard. It is not a program where people can only get the services they really need during certain hours of the day. These people are there day or night for these kids. They are just a phone call away to help them with whatever they need. This is very different from the other programs I have interned at, but I think it is the right structure to have for these kids. It makes it so these kids, who do not usually have a lot of structure and support, are able to trust people and trust this program to help them make better lives for themselves. There is so much love and respect that flows between everyone in Hosea and I think that is something that makes Hosea special.

It is a phenomenal program that has been able to teach me so much about myself and the people we serve in just the couple months that I have been able to intern there. I have had very little experience with homelessness, especially homeless youth, and I felt like this agency would be a good opportunity to learn what it was like to help this population. Getting to know the youth that come to the Drop-In Center has been such an eye-opening experience for me. The stereotypes that are put on them are far from true. These kids are some of the most hardworking, genuine, considerate and compassionate people I have ever met. They will all look out for each other and try to help out any way they can. These are kids who do not have much in life and still find resources, time, and energy to help anyway they can. It is very humbling to see and makes me want to be a better person. I loved getting to learn the youths’ stories and see how far they have come. I feel very fortunate that I am able to be a part of their process to moving up in the world or helping them out as much as I can when they are struggling to find their way.

Being able to spend my time at Hosea has been such a rewarding experience that I am so happy I get to be a part of for ten weeks. I am also thankful that Hosea Youth Services will be able to give me great experiences and lessons that I will be able to take with me on my future endeavors!

~ Dominique Thompson, HYS Intern