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Growing the Good: 1JustCity Internship experience

Building confidence, skills, and hope thanks to 1JustCity Internship program and YOU!!!

My name is Lara Hunter and I started my Internship with 1JustCity on May 13th, 2019, and it has been a great three-month journey. I was finishing university and facing the daunting task of finding a job. While looking for work I thought doing this internship with 1JustCity would give me great hands-on experience and knowledge. I heard of 1JustCity at an event a year ago. I was inspired by 1JustCity’s pillars of “Loving the Underloved” and “Building an Inclusive Community.”

The 1JustCity Internship gives students and recent graduates experience in learning skills that they can bring into future jobs. It started in May - the timing was perfect! I was excited to learn more about how this organization uses their value pillars in their day to day work.

In my first month, I worked at St. Matthews Maryland Community Ministry in the drop-in centre helping with the food bank & programing, making sandwiches & coffee, and meeting & visiting with guests & other volunteers. As a shy person, at first, I found the idea of interacting with strangers overwhelming and preferred to be in the kitchen helping with making coffee & sandwiches. After a few weeks & getting to know volunteers & some of the guests who came into the drop-in regularly I found it easier to sit & chat with people. I was inspired by the volunteers & the care they took to make sure that everyone got what they needed while in the centre. Getting to know some of the guests gave me confidence and taught me the importance of connection. Someone might come in because your generosity means they’ll get a meal, but they keep coming back because they also get a community.

In my second month, I got to pick projects to grow my capacity (their third pillar) and this included writing social media content, grant writing & reporting, and representing 1JustCity in coalition work. I have gained so many skills and have enjoyed representing 1JustCity in coalition groups like Meth in Winnipeg: A Community Response and Taking Back the Commons. Both coalition groups are creating safer spaces for people through addressing the meth crisis and advocating for public places to remain safe and accessible to everyone.

I have found a joy and hope to work with groups that are addressing bigger issues that are too big for one person or organization to tackle individually.

I also found confidence- the mentorship at 1JustCity to grow my skills was exactly what I needed and I’m thrilled to be volunteering other places too with my newly acquired skills.

If you or someone you know are interested in gaining new skills and confidence while volunteering in a caring organization then volunteer or do the internship and help 1JustCity continue to “Love the Underloved” and “Build an Inclusive Community.”

I recognize that this internship would not have been possible without people who have donated, volunteered, and worked to make 1JustCity the great organization it is today. So this is also my thank you! Thank you to all of you who in any way you can support 1JustCity. This spring you supported me to gain confidence, learn new skills, and given me hope for the future.

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