Arts & Entertainment
Ruth Ellis Graduates 20 Interns
BY Crystal A. Proxmire
Originally printed 8/23/2012 (Issue 2034 - Between The Lines News)
DETROIT - For the second year in a row Ruth Ellis Center gave LGBT youth the opportunity to work as interns for six weeks out of the summer. The internship program is a partnership between Growing Detroit's Young Talent (funded by DTE),Youth Employment Solutions, University of Michigan School of Public Health (funded by MAC). The program lets youth learn the inner workings of the nonprofit and lets them try their hand at many positions, such as promoting the center, doing peer outreach, and day to day stuff like answering phones and helping people who visit the center. They also work with businesspeople from participating companies to learn how to get ahead in business, and work on leadership training for the youth.
"The Ruth Ellis Center Summer Internship Program is to earn an income while building relationships, experiencing new things and spending time in a positive environment," said youth who made a You Tube video about their experience. "To become more prepared to find, apply for and keep job by improving understanding of professionalism and expectations for the workplace environment."
One of those youth is Toni Williams, who opened up by sharing a "Where I came from" poem with the group. "I am from someone telling me I am not worth living. I am from someone in an abusive relationship." Williams shared plans for the future, stating, "My plans are five years from now is to have my bachelors or my masters for child care development and business."
Tarrik Higgins also took part. "The most important thing I learned is showing up on time and bringing my best to the internship," he said.
DeJuan LeBlanc was grateful for the training he received. "I would like to say thank you all so much because the LGBTQ community has a very very hard time. We get criticized. We get ridiculed about every single thing. So for you all to come and help us and be safe and feel comfortable around us, that was a blessing."
Learn more about Ruth Ellis Center at http://www.ruthelliscenter.org/.