ywca Minneapolis

No Longer Me Against the World

Posted on Mon, Jul 31 2017 9:00 am by Louise, Girls Inc. Eureka! Racial Justice Intern and Alicia Sojourner, Racial Equity Consulting Manager

ywca minneapolis interns

Louise, center, featured with two other YWCA Minneapolis interns

Day One

The first day of the next four weeks of my life. Walking through the doors of the YWCA Minneapolis downtown location, I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect, especially being an African American Muslim, but I kept my head held high and made my way into the building.

Upon walking in, I recognized Chau, a familiar face from the Girls Inc. Eureka! internship fair, and I immediately felt welcomed. When I met my co-workers, I was finally able to let my guard down and take solace in the fact that I would not be alone in this four-week long journey as an intern at YWCA Minneapolis.

louise, ywca minnneapolis intern

Me Changing the World

My experience as an intern has been absolutely incredible. My co-workers have treated me like I was a part of their own family. I can honestly say that the atmosphere where I spent these four weeks was warm and welcoming. I don’t want to leave.

During my internship at YWCA, I learned many things from these inspirational women (and man) that have become my role models over this short amount of time. It’s because of them that I no longer feel like it’s simply me against the world. Now I feel as if it’s me changing the world.

– Louise, Girls Inc. Eureka! Racial Justice Intern

Creating Pathways

Creating pathways for girls of color is a core value of YWCA Minneapolis. Louise is a part of Eureka!, a five-year summer and school year program for girls focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Run in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, the Eureka! program builds sisterhood with girls from all over the Twin Cities, exploring their career interests and dreams while supporting them through high school graduation and preparing them for the next step in their post-secondary education.

As you think of your organization and historically underserved communities, ask yourself these questions:

  • What pathways are we creating to bridge different communities?
  • What is our impact on the communities in which we work?
  • What do you think a Eureka! intern experience would be like within your organization?  
  • What are you doing to make sure people connected to your organization are not feeling as if it’s “me against the world”?

“I know it seem hard sometimes but uh
Remember one thing
Through every dark night, there's a bright day after that
So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out
Keep your head up, and handle it”

– TuPac “Me Against the World”