“Where is Christopher?” asked Juwan. He has asked the same question for the last five days. I explained that Christopher was only here for three weeks, but it hasn’t sunk in. Christopher made that deep an impression on Juwan’s life. Not just Juwan, but other students too. And not just students, but on his host family, and on my two girls (11 and 9) (who were quite smitten), and on me too.
Christopher decided last summer that he would use the year in between high school and college to serve God through different ministries. He reasoned that this might be his best chance for devoting an entire year to a variety of internships that would allow him to serve and learn. He has served with Habitat for Humanity, Big House (Opelika, AL), PTM, and will work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Arizona. It’s a thoughtful year for a recent high school graduate who will play baseball at Yale University beginning this Fall.
Trying to get used to not having Christopher here I have been thinking about how great it was for PTM students to meet Chris. Our students at all three elementary afterschool programs got to know him. He went on 5 weekend field trips in his three weeks with us. He updated our website and helped prepare a fundraising mailing. He wrote a grant proposal and he helped record donations and sent contribution receipts. He reworked our computer room and even helped clean and maintain our facility. No doubt Chris will enter college more mature and more prepared than many of his peers.
The more I got to know Chris the more excited I became about having more gap year internships at PTM. We have one master’s level student at Vanderbilt interning part-time this semester with our junior high program. We have two young women from Germany who will spend three months serving at PTM in the Fall. We will have two college students interning with us this summer. We continue to have incredibly gifted Young Adult Volunteer interns spend an entire year at PTM, and we are hopeful that we will have a Vanderbilt student majoring in Human and Organizational Development conduct her semester-long internship at PTM this Fall. Interns build our ability to cover administrative and programming tasks related to expanding PTM (at a low cost). If you know of someone looking for a meaningful place to intern, please let me know (615-596-4386 or firstname.lastname@example.org.) We would love to have him/her.