Since 1995, Holy Trinity has been one of the only Catholic high schools that hosts summer internships for its students. Each year we work with a small group of corporate and nonprofit partners to place our NFTE junior class students in competitive internships and provide them with mentors to guide them along the process. Becasue of all the complications that were presented due to COVID-19, we had many partners drop out due to office closures and stay-at-home orders.
While some partners dropped out, those that remained were able to provide our students with two month placements, which is very generous given that standard placement is only for six weeks. Check out our students’ testimonials below.
Susi Delgado '21
Aaron Trinidad '20
Before the summer had begun I was worried about if I was going to have a summer job. I had been planning to work all my senior year. When COVID came the question changed from where I was going to intern to will I even be able to intern. Thankfully Holy Trinity and specifically their Friends for a Future program ensured that I would not only get my internship but that I would be able to work remotely so that I could be safe during this unpredictable time.
I was placed at the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). It was not like a job I have had before which made me look forward to starting. When I started working there was 1 other intern and 1 program coordinator. By the time I ended my internship I had been working alongside 6 other interns and 2 program coordinators. It was a lot of work but I had a lot of fun. I was able to get a lot of experience while still working remotely. A lot of my time went to helping DFSS with their social media. I posted on all their platforms and made things such as flyers, cards, and graphics. I also had the opportunity to help with budgeting and test-run a program that explored diseases and pandemics.
Although I had no idea what to expect from this internship I kept an open mind and it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had. I had a lot of fun working with my coworkers and learning more about how the city runs. I learned valuable things and skills from my peers and the experience itself. I definitely see how this experience will help me with my future endeavors.
Jessica Roman '20
When I first started at PAWS, I was definitely very nervous and anxious about it. I was scared that I was going to mess something up or do something wrong that would cause them to have problems or confusion. The more I started getting familiar with what I had to do, the more comfortable I became in the job that I was there to do. Carlos and Jamie were absolutely amazing and provided me with everything that I needed to know. I would text Jamie whenever I had a question or whenever I was unsure with something to make sure that I was getting everything right. I had first learned about PAWS when my aunt adopted from there and I instantly fell in love with their message and with what they were trying to do. Being able to work there and see how it worked behind the scenes was such a great experience.
While I worked there I had quite a few different things that I had to do. I started off just by getting familiar with their program called shelterluv which stored all the information of the animals that were at PAWS, had been at PAWS, and everyone who had previously and currently adopted and fostered from PAWS. I used this program for everything that I did with PAWS. Canto was the first thing that I had to tackle. Every day, foster parents would upload pictures of the animal that they were fostering in order to advertise these pictures to help them get adopted. I was the one that went into Canto and would sort all the pictures by putting the name of the animal and their PAWS ID number and then uploading the picture into the Medical Center Foster 2020 folder which would allow the picture to be advertised by someone else who would choose the picture. The next thing I had to do was make a template for an email asking foster parents for foster reports. After a foster period ends, the foster parent has to send in a foster report that reports all the animals behaviors, fears, etc. My job was to email any of the foster parents that had not yet turned in a foster report and ask them to do so, while also asking them to upload pictures to Canto. When I received emails back with foster reports attached, I had to put them in the correct animal profile, while also reading through them to make sure that nothing strange was happening that had to be reported to the vet. Meanwhile, I also had to be keeping my eye out for any IDs or Foster Agreements that were being emailed to PAWS. Foster Agreements have to be signed and put into the person’s profile in order for them to be able to foster, and so I was the one attaching these things into their profile using Shelterluv. My job also included working the PAWS facebook and running checks on everyone who wanted to join the group.
PAWS Chicago Fosters is a private Facebook group that only allows current foster parents to join so that they can share any questions they have with each other, or just upload cute and funny pictures of their foster animal. When new members wanted to join, I had to search them up in Shelterluv and make sure that they had a foster application that had been accepted by PAWS already. I also had to look through recent discussions on the Facebook page to make sure that none of the foster parents were asking for advice on something that was wrong with their foster animal because then those concerns I would have to be reported back to the vet. Lastly, I got to start up the Maddie’s Foster Survey at PAWS! Basically, the MFS is a survey that is sent out to all foster parents. It asks them a bunch of questions about how the foster program is at PAWS and how they feel about it. This allows PAWS to see a breakdown of everyone’s answers by graphs so that they can decide if there is anything that needs to be changed about their program.
Working there was definitely a lot of work but I could not have asked for a better first job. I loved getting to know the system and getting to see a sneak peak of how PAWS operates. It was so much fun even though I was not physically there. It taught me so much about all the work that goes into an animal shelter and how much it pays off to see an animal get adopted. Thank you for allowing me to be part of PAWS and thank you for even giving me the option to work at PAWS.
Imani Gonnigan '21
I was very nervous when I started my internship. This would be the first real job for me, so I was afraid of making mistakes and afraid of not understanding the work I was given because it would be too complicated. I also had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what work style my boss had or how much work my boss had to do. I knew that she owns multiple businesses but I didn’t know how much of that work will be transferred over to me. But I was very excited because the person I was paired with was an entrepreneur and that’s something that I want to be in the future. So I was mixed with nervousness and anticipation leading up to when I started to work. Even though this may sound corny I also felt very lucky for the opportunity that I have been given. My first encounter with my boss was very pleasant. Her name is Mrs. Beard and she is very kind and funny. She has a very outgoing personality and she made it very comfortable to work with her. She’s always saying “if you have questions then ask, I love questions so I will answer them to the best of my abilities.” That made me feel not afraid to say hey I don’t understand this or could you help me with this. The one thing that I was scared to do the whole process was LLC’s and trademarks. One mistake and you have filed somebody’s business completely wrong. I really didn’t want to mess up anybody’s paperwork so I was super scared. My fear was completely erased when Miss Beard walked me through the steps and then had me do one on my own. I also made t-shirts and flyers for her clothing line. I would say that my entire internship was fun. I enjoyed everything that I was given to do and I would love to go back and do it again.