This weekend, Mary Taylor, Ryan Callahan, Grace Elliott and I travelled up to Brattleboro, VT with Mr. Fetchet to spend two days at the Jerusalem Peacebuilders Leadership Camp. While we only arrived in the final days of their session, the Israeli, Palestinian, and American teens welcomed us into their close-knit group and generously shared their experiences from the previous ten days.
Last Monday, the VOICES summer interns journeyed into the city to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As the college interns of the group, we were in second grade at the time of the attacks. Immersed in the images and audio of the exhibitions, we heard the first-hand accounts of victims, first-responders, and survivors. The experience will forever be ingrained in our minds, as the museum exposed the gravity of September 11 that we did not fully comprehend from the shelter of our elementary school classrooms.
Although today is only Wednesday, this week has already been full of excitement in the lives of our VOICES interns. Monday, we started off our day by heading into the city and getting a firsthand look at the National September 11th Memorial Museum. The day we had been anticipating and looking forward to all summer did not disappoint.
I’m a very curious person. When I am at a restaurant, I frequently check out the people seated nearby and wonder what their stories are. At school, I have struggled to identify my major and minor because there are so many subjects that appeal to me. When I am praying at church, I wonder why the ‘norm’ is that we bow our heads and close our eyes. So, after reading the article, “New York’s 9/11 Museum: What Should We Think about the Event Now?” written by Janet Davison of CBC News, I felt a connection to the theme.
This summer we are fortunate to have five New Canaan High School student interns working on the annual VOICES Community Response project. Their assignment this year was to focus on 9/11 memorials in the tri-state area. Given this topic, they were then free to choose which memorials they wanted to learn more about.
Last week, VOICES summer interns had an office surprise… we’re going to camp! With three New Canaan Rams, a Bucknell Bison and Loyola Greyhound in tow, the interns will head up to Vermont for a weekend of leadership camp with the Jerusalem Peacebuilders. At Acer Farm, we will have the opportunity to meet Israeli, Palestinian, and American students of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths and to discuss our experiences with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through our own unique perspectives.
Last week was full of transitions for Voices of September 11th and our staff. Our enthusiastic spring interns completed the last hours of their internship programs just in time to graduate high school! A few days later, our offices were once again full with a new group of New Canaan High School students. For the next few weeks, these summer interns will be working on a memorial project, documenting community response to 9/11. Their focus will range from local town memorials to the National September 11 Memorial in New York City, as well as personal memorials created by families. If their personal biographies tell us anything about the quality of work we can expect, then we are certainly looking forward to seeing their final project in August!
The Spring 2014 interns are here! The Voices of September 11th office in Connecticut is lucky to be located near two high schools with strong internship programs. Both Staples and New Canaan provide seniors with the opportunity to intern at a local company for the last four weeks of the semester. This year, VOICES’ six interns have been working tirelessly on the Living Memorial project.
“Intelligent, conscientious, engaging, and empathetic” are the words Sheri Burkat the past Program Director of the New Brunswick, NJ office used to describe the social work interns Amanda Fennimore and Lauren Picciallo she has been working with for the past year. Amanda and Lauren graduated two weeks ago with their Bachelors in Social Work from Rutgers University.
This year, the college interns for Voices of September 11th will tell their own stories – in addition to the stories they are helping to preserve in the 9/11 Living Memorial Project. In their blog posts, the interns will share their experience interning at VOICES. Our hope is that this will give our readers a different perspective on the work we do at VOICES.