At Thrive DC we offer internship opportunities that vary from social service focused to development focused. Meet Zach, our intern who does both! He’s been with us since September, and has a lot to share about his time at Thrive DC

Tell me a little about yourself

I am a Senior at St. Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois, where I study Criminal Justice. I had two credits left to complete my undergraduate degree, so I decided to fill the credits through an internship program. I found a program called the Washington Internship Institute (WII), which helps you find internships in DC. The internship is paired with two classes and also helps you find housing in DC, so it’s a really great program.

How did you find Thrive DC?

Thrive DC was one of three internships that accepted me through WII, and after some thought, I chose Thrive DC. I knew that I have the ability to make an impact at a place like Thrive DC, even if it’s just a small impact. I had a professor in college who had written an ordinance for something she wanted change in her local community. It was such a small thing, but it mattered to her, had a positive impact on the community, and brought about change; that’s what I want to do and that’s why I chose Thrive DC. Even if I’m just sorting through mail, I’m bringing a small, impactful change to the clients at Thrive DC who need that mail. I’m very comfortable with my decision and glad I chose Thrive DC.

How has your experience at Thrive DC been?

I felt very welcomed here from the start. The staff were so warm and immediately brought me in and made me feel like a part of the team. I have a few different roles here, but I have mostly been sorting through the mail. At the moment, there are around 1,200 people who send their mail to Thrive DC, and with the pandemic, we had a large back stock of unsorted mail. For the first few weeks at Thrive DC, I spent the majority of my time going through the mail, but I also helped out wherever I was needed. Whatever I end up doing that day, I always enjoy. There has never been a time at Thrive DC that I have walked out at the end of the day and felt like I wasn’t happy with how the day went. I always leave smiling and happy, knowing I made a difference.

What have been some of your favorite moments at Thrive DC?

I really enjoy talking to Thrive DC clients who are part of the Real Opps job training program. They all have very interesting stories to tell and are always looking to share their stories with others, so it’s fun to talk to them. Really any interaction with people has been great. I enjoy talking to staff as well and volunteers and clients outside of Real Opps. Everyone is so friendly and you feel safe and supported here.

What advice would you give someone just starting out at Thrive DC?

I would say take your time; there’s no rush. When sorting through mail, mistakes can matter a lot more than you would think, so it’s important that you don’t rush through any of the tasks you’re given. I would also say try to make it interesting and fun. I’ve never been bored sorting through mail because I’ve found ways to make it more entertaining. There’s never a dull day at Thrive DC, so enjoy it and make the most of it.