Welcome Everyone!

Project Transformation now has a blog for interns! We want this blog to be a place where interns can share their experiences with PT supporters and those who want to learn more about our programs. Stay tuned to learn more about the amazing young adults who are serving children and families in the Dallas area.

A Love of Literacy Blooms

Kaci Brasher, Site Coordinator, Christ’s Foundry

girls reading_4blogOne night after the end of a program day, I decided to stop by the library close to my site to check out a book. I was only there a couple of minutes when I heard someone say my name. I turned around and saw one of my kids running towards me with a stack of books in her hands. She told me how excited she was to see me and showed me some of the books she was carrying. One of the books she had was The Rainbow Fish, which was one of my favorite books as a kid. We talked about how pretty the shimmery scales are on the fish. She even told me she was going to read that book first so we could talk about it.

She followed me around for a few more minutes as I selected my books. The whole time this was happening, I was thinking that moments like these are the reason I chose to apply for this program. Project Transformation focuses on literacy skills with the understanding that these skills will empower our kids and allow them to engage more deeply with the world. I firmly believe in this commitment, and am striving to form relationships that will allow such growth. This chance encounter at the library showed me that the seeds of that growth are being planted.

Intern of the Month: Rickella Hannon

Our intern of the month received this glowing nomination from her Site Coordinator;

There is much to be said about an individual who can come into a new environment, with new people, and new goals and make it their very own. To walk in with head held high and self-certainty to match, is not only noteworthy, but admirable in my book. Rickella has the ability to improvise but she is also great at keeping the kids accountable for their behavior and everyone else accountable for their responsibilities. She takes great direction and doesn’t need to be told anything twice. I have seen the passion she has for serving; it emanates from within. She loved the kids immediately and pays close attention to each of their specific needs. I am proud to have this lady on my team and I know her ambition and drive, the program at Elmwood will go far.

Rickella Hannon_4blogName: Rickella Hannon

Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana

College: University of North Texas at Dallas

Major: Sociology and Child Development

Project Transformation Site: Elmwood UMC

Hobbies: Shopping, going to Six Flags, volunteering

 

 

Why did you want to serve as an intern at Project Transformation?

I am a firm believer in being a force for change. Project Transformation’s mission spoke to my heart and I knew if given the opportunity, the chance to make a change would come. Everyday, I see and feel the good change in the kids that I serve.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from working with children/youth?

The most important lesson I have learned is that children learn what we show them and not always from what we teach them. So I strive to show my kids that anything is possible.

What is your favorite part of the Project Transformation experience?

The kids! Kids have a way of given beauty to the ugliest situations. They give us hope when there is none. In my students, I see a reflection that I should see in myself.

If you could tell one story from your experience at Project Transformation, what story would you tell?

I haven’t had much experience with special needs children. But at my site, I have the blessing to spend time with a young girl in whom I see so much of myself. She is always willing to help and not be afraid to be the oddball. My experience with her has allowed me to face challenges in my own life that I was afraid to face.

The Bar Set High

Brittney Andrews, After-school Site Coordinator, Elmwood UMC

293 (1)It has been very exiting coming into this year of the after school program, and I am very optimistic about the transformations that will take place in myself, and also in the amazing students I serve. I am so impressed with how excited the students are to be in this program; several of them have been coming for years and each new year they are just as excited as the previous. This really confirms the fact that Project Transformation matters, that we have an impact on the children that we come in contact with. This gives me great pride and confidence to push forward, and challenge myself to continually put forth all efforts to make sure our kids can come to a program of quality. My students set the bar high with their excitement and commitment.  I know that as a team, Project Transformation will exceed their expectations and be a strong force in molding them into the future leaders they are.

Interns of the Month: Alex Martin and Callan Veteto

While there is normally one intern of the month, Alex and Callan proved to be equally deserving of the title. Here’s what their site coordinator had to say about their nomination;

They have carried extra duties happily as I have adjusted from working with youth to working with elementary children. Everyday, they come full of energy and eagerness to work with the children. They have spent time teaching kids about music. Their patience with the kids and their ability to turn sadness or disappointment into a smile is a joy to watch. Their skills are complementary and they have several ‘duo’ routines – tricks, singing and dancing. They are both nominated because they work so well as a pair. They make my job so much easier and more fulfilling. Together, they are creative and great at improvisation when we need it the most.

So let’s meet the interns of the month:

Alex Martin_4blogName: Alex Martin

Hometown: Plano, TX

College: University of North Texas

Major: Nursing

Project Transformation Site: Christ’s Foundry

Hobbies: Music and sports

 

Why did you want to serve as an intern at Project Transformation?

I wanted to do my part in serving the community and to enrich the kids in every way I could.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from working with children and youth?

Even though I am in college, I can still be outsmarted by 2nd graders daily.

What is your favorite part of the Project Transformation experience?

My favorite part of this experience is the relationships that are formed.

If you could tell one story from your experience at Project Transformation, what story would you tell?

I would tell of the numerous times I have managed to make a child stop crying by having them close their eyes and recite a magical spell in some made up language.

 

Callan Veteto_4blogName: Callan Veteto

Hometown: Plano, TX

College: University of North Texas

Major: Fine Arts (drawing and painting)

Site Location: Christ’s Foundry

Hobbies: Sports, art and music

Why did you want to serve as an intern at Project Transformation?

I wanted to get more involved in service to my community, especially with the children and youth around Dallas.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from working with children/youth?

I’ve learned that simply developing positive relationships with the kids/youth can spark a stronger, more loving community.

What is your favorite part of the Project Transformation experience?

My favorite part is getting to impact the kids in a way that is unique and meaningful.

If you could tell one story from your experience at Project Transformation, what story would you tell?

I would tell the story about the time two kids from my site gave their pieces of pizza they earned to a child who didn’t have one.

Reading Makes Us Smile

Marian Browning, Casa Linda UMC

IMG_1691This was my first summer with Project Transformation. As the program progressed, I could see just how amazing of an experience it has been.  I was working with the Elementary kids at Casa Linda UMC and I couldn’t be happier with my time spent with these kids. Towards the end of the program, I had probably the best experience of my entire summer, when one of our kids learned to read in English. Continue reading

Experiencing Something Incredible

Ryan Clements, Waples Memorial UMC Youth

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I have an interesting relationship with horror movies. On one hand, I absolutely love the feeling of being completely terrified. On the other hand, I absolutely hate the feeling of being completely terrified. I love the thrill of the unexpected and unknown, but I hate the lack of control and uncertainty of risk. Put together, this means my friends enjoy watching me watch horror movies as much as the movie itself. It also means this summer was destined to change me.

All the way back in that cold month of January, I did not intend to spend my summer at Project Transformation. In fact, I had very few intentions at all besides snuggling up next to a fire with Netflix. However, after a short conversation with a college buddy, I entered a panic upon realizing many of my friends already had confirmed summer internships, and I did not. Within the hour, I was Googling internship positions (preferably in ministry), and I stumbled upon a link to some non-profit, Christian organization in Dallas. I love Dallas. And there were kids involved, so that seemed pretty good too. Just like that, I set the ball rolling for my incredible summer.

At least, it seemed like me. So often, what seems like our own, independent actions and choices produce divine-like results. Perhaps someone else was there with me on that cold January night as I filled out the application.  Continue reading

Learning and Growing!

Miracle Ojiaku, Munger Place UMC

smiling interns  (1) croppedI can honestly say that I’ve changed into a different person in a good way by being in Dallas for the summer. If you leave a band-aid on a wound that has been healed for so long, it will not get as much exposure to receive the full healing and strength because of how long it has been covered. I’ve gotten so much exposure here at PT. I have seen and experienced the other side of things: people’s lives, lifestyles, and religious backgrounds. I have learned that I can never be perfect. And that is okay. God has stretched me so much since I’ve been here and everyday he continues to do his work. When I first got here I felt alone because I was not used to how things functioned here. The more effort you put into something will determine how much you’re going to get back. It may not be what we are expecting all the time, but you never know how it can affect our character, strength, patience, and potential. I found stillness in my kids at my site: the overwhelming joy I felt when they got something right or did something good on their own. I have observed how much a simple greeting can go a long way. I take time to greet and start a conversation with my kids throughout the day and by lunch time they are always asking me to sit with them at lunch.  I also love the unity that is within PT, it is a contagious spirit that needs to shared continuously.  To everyone who is and has been apart of PT. I ask you and myself this question, what are you going to do with the calling that God has given you?