Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Over Already?

Those were possibly the most fulfilling and rewarding 9 weeks of my life. I have made friends and learned a lot about myself. I think that the “goodbye” e-mail that I sent to the organization says a lot about just how much my time with Chrysalis meant to me:

Dear Chrysalis,

What an amazing organization. As I mentioned to some of you yesterday, I thought I knew, but I had NO idea. The client stories are heartbreaking and their perseverance admirable. I have a huge amount of respect for the work that you all are doing. I can’t deny that the stories that I heard didn’t make me toss and turn as I tried to go to sleep each night. However, I woke up each morning proud to come to work.

Although these last 9 weeks have flown by, they have made a lasting impression. I feel honored and humbled to have been a part of the Chrysalis Team. Where can I pick-up the “Lifetime Membership” form?

The last week of my internship was an amazing week. One of the clients who had attended a Jobs Club session that I led asked me for help a few times. I taught her how to shake hands professionally (she was doing the grabbing the thumb handshake) and what a “complete” application packet looked like. On Monday she came to my office to share with me that SHE HAD GOTTEN A JOB. The most important part of the whole conversation for me was what she told me a few times: “I did it by myself.” That’s the proof that Chrysalis works. The organization does not exist to hand jobs to people, but rather to give them the tools and confidence that they need to go face the madness of job hunting on their own. Most everyone has many doors closed on them, but eventually one opens.

She rang the bell on Tuesday, and I had to wipe a tear away. The framed picture of me and her that my co-workers gave me on my last day of the internship is hanging on my wall and is a constant reminder of the change that I can make in the world.

Going into the internship, I had my reservations about what I was going to walk away with compared to my classmates. I can honestly say after completing it that I have no regrets about my experiences this summer. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

I wanted to share one last video. This woman was honored at the last Butterfly Ball (a fundraiser for Chrysalis) and rang the bell while I was there. It is always a good thing to see such a remarkable program like Chrysalis get the attention it deserves.


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