“There is no typical day when you’re helping students and their families,” Jessica, 27, from Broomall, laughs.
A former Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship Program Intern, Jessica found her “dream career” as a school counselor and credits the certainty of her career path to her mentoring experience way back in 2011.
“Life has changed exponentially for me since then,” said Jessica. “I interned with The Ash Program in 2011 and developed a great relationship with my high-school mentee. I graduated college in 2013 – and after assessing my strengths and really thinking about what I was good at and what I enjoyed with the JEVS Career Strategies team, I went back to school for counseling.”
That journey of self-discovery, according to Ash Program coordinator Rhonda Cohen, is what fuels the program, the students, and the community going forward.
“Our Ash interns get a taste of the nonprofit Jewish community,” said Cohen. “And the value of mentoring – of teaching someone to fish, so to speak – can sometimes reinforce the desire to serve and the reality of supporting others.”
For Jessica, that experience helped create a life-long link to her passions.
“I always knew I wanted to work with children and families but didn’t know in what way I wanted to do that,” she said.
“To me, counseling means that I serve as a guiding force.”
Each day, I get to be a mentor – to practice patience, to understand differences, and to work on problem-solving.”
Doing so, she notes, has allowed her to experience joy through others.
“When my students get accepted into high school, when they do well on a test, when they’re excited – what brings them joy brings me joy,” she said. “If they’re excited about something considered ‘small,’ it’s a reminder that I can be excited about it, too. It’s a pretty good lesson for everyone!”
The Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship Program is currently accepting applications for Summer 2019. Think you’ve got what it takes? Start your application today!