August 22, 2012
After completing a summer internship with the YWCA's Social Justice department, Kelsie Overton, a student at Birmingham-Southern College (BSC), is returning to school with a new understanding of the broad array of programs and services provided by the YWCA.
Overton, a native of Nashville, was initially introduced to the YWCA during her Woodlawn Interim service-learning class at BSC. During that four week class, students focused on the developmental and educational issues facing Woodlawn and other communities in Birmingham.
"I was so impressed by the work that the YW was doing in Woodlawn that I knew I had to become more involved," said Overton.
After the course ended, Overton began volunteering at Interfaith Hospitality House where she helped conduct surveys throughout the Woodlawn community. These surveys were used to help develop programming for the Family Resource Center.
In addition to assisting with programming, she helped facilitate training sessions for participants in the Summer CREW program - a work training and enrichment program for YWoodlawn teens age 14-18.
"I loved that the YW was partnering with the Woodlawn community and giving the residents ownership in the changes that were taking place," Overton said. "This project wasn't something that the YW was doing to the community, but something that it was doing with the community - and that speaks volumes."
Already engaged in the revitalization that was taking place in Woodlawn, Overton decided to learn more about the YW's Social Justice programming. She became a volunteer staff member at Anytown Alabama - an inclusive weeklong camp that provides an opportunity for high school students to develop leadership skills. She was also responsible for creating program evaluations for participants.
Overton will return to BSC in the fall to finish her senior year and graduate in May with a degree in Religion. Although her internship has ended, she will continue servicing the needs of the Birmingham community as one of 30 members in the YWCA "Building Communities, Bettering Lives" AmeriCorps program. She willl be placed with the Leading Edge Institute.
We wish Kelsie much success in all of her endeavors. We are grateful for her support and dedication to the YW during her internship.
To learn more about the programs and services of the YWCA, click here.