The internship that I have been a part of was with Brenham Young Life. A couple different aspects of this internship include being a role model to the youth in Brenham, planning events, being a part of meetings, organizing programs, and being a leader among the team of volunteers I am a part of. The main events of this semester include a classic Young Life event called “club” that happens every Monday night worldwide, special events, a Bible study called “campaigners”, and contact work. Club is the main event I take part in planning each week. This is a high-energy event for high school students to come and feel welcome at, have fun with their friends and leaders, and then hear about Jesus. A few examples of special events include a three-on-three basketball tournament, special themed clubs, and a “Girl’s Night Out” event. During campaigners, I lead a group of around ten 11th grade girls in a Bible study, and simply invest time and energy into being caring adult figure in their lives. Lastly, contact work includes anything from taking girls to go see the school play or going to get ice cream at the Blue Bell Factory.
Young Life currently has the goal of reaching two million students by 2016, and they plan on doing this by reaching out to every adolescent and giving them the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him. The mission of Young Life is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. They accomplish this mission by:
The philosophies Young Life lives by are considered by them to be called “The Five C’s”, which include Club, Campaigners, Camp, Contact work, and Committee. It is through these five aspects of the organization that Young Life actually happens.
The formal job description for college Young Life leaders says, “College students make great Young Life leaders, and most Young Life areas are eager to nurture, train and include college students on their Young Life teams. Young Life volunteer leaders participate in a full range of activities that help them build these significant relationships with kids.”
To become a Young Life volunteer leader, you must go through a semester and a half of training, which happens once a week. These leaders are recruited by Young Life Staff for all of the different Areas, and specifically at Texas A&M, recruiting is done on campus and headed up by J.P. Harris. In the Brazos Valley, J.P. Harris is the Area Director and is responsible for training new volunteer leaders and retaining them.
Because volunteers are a very important component of Young Life, and the majority of Young Life leaders are volunteers, so I was not paid for this internship. However, I gained a great deal of experience in the youth development field, and was able to get a job working at a Young Life camp for this next year because of my experience.
The main things I learned from this youth development, Young Life internship, is how to plan and organize programs and events, how to be a leader in a team setting, and how to make a difference in the lives of youth. This set of skills I gained will be very helpful to me in the future as I continue to pursue a career in youth development.