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Notes from our summer intern

Tammy Mels
Published: June 22, 2018

Hi everyone! My name is Tammy Mels and I currently attend Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. In the fall, I will be entering my last semester of college where I will be graduating with a degree in Business and a minor in Psychology.

I received the opportunity to join H.O.M.E through a college program called Chicago Semester. This program allows college students to experience living in heart of the city, learning more about the city through some course work, while working full-time in the field that you’re studying.

seniors in the city_Maria_MarijoI was excited about having an internship in something that I was passionate about, working with the aging community. But, there were some fears that came along with this excitement about doing the program, one of which was living in the city.

I have lived in the same house in the quiet suburbs of Chicago, coming downtown for field trips through school or even trips over the summer to Millennium Park with friends. But living downtown, to me, seemed like the worst idea.

In a few short weeks, my perspective on the city has changed! Having to navigate through the city by overcrowded, filthy public transportation, living with the constant noise of horns and sirens, and living where the cost of living is almost double what I am used to, did not seem fun to me.

Through this program, I was able to go see the different cultural neighborhoods that I would have never seen if I did not live downtown.

Overcrowded public transportation, noise and the cost were things that I was nervous about. But now that I am living in the city, I have fallen in love with the opportunities that I get to experience. The city has 77 neighborhoods with something to always do.

From Saturday morning farmers’ markets, to movies in Millennium Park, and endless choices of restaurants. Living in the community, taking a diversity course, and being an intern at H.O.M.E. has given me the opportunity to experience tasks and challenges that I would have never been exposed to in the suburbs.

Even at H.O.M.E. I have had the opportunity to do tasks that I did not think I would be doing.  I have been able to build relationships with residents through many activities such as spring cleaning, playing games, and eating lunch.  Here is a picture of me and John, one of the residents of Nathalie Salmon House that I have had the chance to get to know.

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I am I am excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store for me while living in the Windy City and working at H.O.M.E.

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