“The best part of my experience was engaging the girls one-on-one. I met with a group of ten every day and spent individual time with them as well. Three months later, I keep in contact with many of them through e-mail. Their eagerness to discuss topics we covered in the “Smart Girls” program proves the importance of mentorship. The staff was amazing. They invited me to do activities – trips around the island, picnics, etc. I was encouraged to design my own program and club activities; not simply instructed what to do. Such responsibility as a college intern is unique.”
IGS has placed students in Thailand to assist children orphaned from the HIV epidemic; Costa Rica on a literacy project in a marginalized mountain community, Hawaii, to prevent gang violence, and France to prevent child trafficking among others.
At-risk youth mentors have an intimate perspective into local culture. Interns have assisted with after school reading programs; accompany kids on field trips; and present their own original ideas on how to best help the children.
Childhood is a time in which young adults form their values and personalities and figure out how they fit into the world. Unfortunately, many children do not have easy access to an environment that fosters growth. Domestic violence, low income families, peer pressure, and other factors can impede a child’s health and self-confidence. Many endure abuse and suffer secondary psychological effects–including aggressive behavior and depression.
With a stable home, after-school programs, and workforce initiatives, at-risk youth establish themselves as individuals and grow into productive adults.
We place students where they can serve as positive mentors in children’s lives.