Since the summer, Little Lights has had two interns, Emily and Sophie, working to support our students and staff in various ways.

“We have had to learn how to connect with each other and with students through predominantly virtual means,” Teddi Beschel, our Volunteer and Mentoring Coordinator shared, “Sophie has been a real help in getting our online and in-person programs going.”

Recently, Sophie and Emily have been supportive to our students at Learning Hubs, helping them get online, navigate virtual schooling, and complete academic assignments. “They have been critical in us being able to staff and run the Learning Hubs,” said Karmen Taylor, Little Lights’ Program Director. 

After our Race Literacy 101 virtual class experienced a surge of interest from more than 450 people over the summer, both Emily and Sophie stepped in to offer administrative support to staff. “As the Race Literacy 101 program grows, Emily has kept track of all the participants from several different cohorts and Sophie has conducted a number of interviews with Race Literacy participants to better understand their experience in the classes,” Karmen said.

We caught up with our interns to get an idea of what they worked on and what they learned at Little Lights.

 

 

 

Emily DelFera

School: Liberty University

Hometown: Outer Banks, NC

Career Aspiration: Social Worker

Although these days are filled with new and unexpected challenges, what does a typical day at Little Lights look like for you?    

Typically, I start my day at Learning Hubs where I am able to interact with our students, help them with school assignments and participate in meal distribution. When Learning Hu

b ends, I go home and work virtually for the rest of the day and participate in Zoom Heroes, either as a tutor or as an admin helper.

I also get to help out a lot with our Race Literacy 101 and Race Literacy Connections classes which has been really fun!

What is your favorite part of interning at Little Lights?

My favorite part about interning at Little Lights has been the community aspect. Not just through those we serve, but also the community of 

like-minded individuals that I work alongside with at Little Lights. It is so important to have co-workers who you get along with and can learn from. I also love working with all the kids!

What do you hope to gain from your internship at Little Lights?

From my internship at Little Lights, I hope to gain new perspectives and knowledge on those living in public housing communities. This is my first time working in this context and I have already learned so much about the history of public housing and how it came to be in DC. Housing inequality has become an area that I am very interested in learning more about.

 

 

Sophie Kaiser

School: Wheaton College (IL)

Hometown: Taiyuan, China

Career Aspiration: Counselor specializing in complex trauma in children

What new skills or things have you learned during your internship?

Working with Little Lights has taught me a lot about the importance of good communication and persistence, as I’ve watched staff members go above and beyond to stay connected with each other and with our students / their families in order to keep meeting community needs during this strange and hard time. The internship has also allowed me to learn a lot about using virtual resources like Zoom, Google calendars, or other platforms that Little Lights has used so well in order to adapt to the circumstances of the pandemic. 

What have you learned or come to admire about the students and the community connected to Little Lights?

Through times of connecting with students or community members this semester, I have been really struck by the resiliency and creativity of people (particularly mothers) living in these communities, as well as the uniquely challenging and unjust effects that policy decisions have on them and their families. In particular, seeing the ways that community members are so connected to each other and committed to family relationships and friendships is a powerful reminder of the importance of community, especially in the face of a broader culture that often feels fiercely individualistic and divisive.

What do you hope to gain from your internship at Little Lights?

Through my time learning from Little Lights staff and the community they serve, I hope to become better equipped to responsibly and thoughtfully love my neighbors here in DC, and specifically those living in public housing. I hope that as I go back to my home communities, I can be a witness to the ways God is moving in this place and better advocate to others about how to serve, give and vote in ways that care for those whose voices often go unheard in spaces of power and privilege.