You Asked. The TWLOHA Interns Answered. Part 1 of 5

By TWLOHA InternsOctober 20, 2014

What is the single most important thing you need to know about being an intern? 

Don’t waste a single second. Work hard when you are in the office. Don’t be afraid to show off your strengths. Get to know the staff early on. Make the most of your downtime. Go on adventures. Take too many pictures. Write things down. Enjoy living in a new place. Try different things. Like Jack tells Rose in “Titanic:” “Make it count.”

– Rebecca, Summer 2013 

Know that you are playing a part in other people’s stories. When you wake up and you’re tired or your day feels long, remember that what you say matters. It matters in the letters you’ll write and the conversations that you’ll have. It matters when you’re wearing your TWLOHA shirt at the coffee shop down the street. It will matter even after your internship is over. Make sure you speak with love and purpose even when you are stressed or frustrated. Also, the TWLOHA staff is easily won over with baked goods and caffeine… 

– Erin, Summer 2014

Your time in Florida will go by quickly, so learn to ask for what you want. Your experience really will be whatever you make it; don’t be afraid to be honest about what you need from the staff and your fellow interns. Chances are you will be working and living in one of the most supportive environments you have ever experienced, so take advantage of it and use this time to grow.  

– Kayla, Spring 2014  

The most important thing you need to know is the vision. We know you love TWLOHA and that is great, but being an intern goes deeper than that. You have to buy into – and keep close to your heart – what it is that we envision not only for the organization but also for the whole world. The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, and finding love. The vision is breaking cycles and making changes. The vision is the possibility that better days are ahead. The vision is that we know we’re loved more than we’ll ever know. The vision is hope and that hope is real.

– Ryan, Summer 2014 

You really get out of the internship what you put into it. Seeing myself grow and transition the way I did throughout the term is something I would want for any TWLOHA intern. I not only walked away with a great experience, but I also walked away with a new group of friends. Also, the interns from my term were some of the most accepting, diverse, and hilarious people I have ever met, and they will always have a special place in my heart.

– Jeniffer, Summer 2014 

My answer to this question is simple: anyone can be. The TWLOHA story is a story of beauty and hope to which we can all contribute. The TWLOHA story is full of amazing people, so diverse in backgrounds, but so unified in direction. Anyone can write a page of this story. Anyone can draw a picture. Anyone can translate it into a message others can understand. And the beauty of all of this is that you have the power and love inside of you to be an incredible intern as long as you use that power and love with a sincere passion for contributing.

– Connor, Summer 2013 

Embrace it. It’s not all going to be easy, but the best things usually aren’t. Open your heart and your mind, and you’ll walk away better than you arrived. Trust that you can do it and that you’ll have support the whole way through.

– Clair, Spring 2013 

Be prepared for the potential of change within yourself in ways you don’t expect. 

– Kenneth, Fall 2014 

As our wonderful Intern Director told us on our first day, “This experience is what you make it.” Make the most of your days here. This is an incredible opportunity you will look back on for the rest of your life. You have the power to make those memories what you want them to be. 

– Molly, Fall 2014 

There is no requirement to have it all together. We all came from very different places in life, and that’s OK. You don’t have to have all the answers or come into this experience from a place of perfection and intense understanding of yourself.

– Rachel, Fall 2014 

This internship is going to surprise you in pretty much every way possible. As prepared as I thought I was before I came here, everything turned out to be a learning experience. Not every day is going to be easy, but if you choose, every day can be a new adventure. Just be open to all the possibilities and keep an open mind. 

– Laura, Fall 2014 


Want to learn more about interning at TWLOHA? You can see what our interns are up to by searching #TWLOHAInterns on Instagram and Twitter. To apply for our Summer 2015 term, click here

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Comments (2)

  1. Molly T.

    Hey Interns,

    Thanks for posting about your experiences at TWLOHA! I’m thinking about applying for the Summer 2015 internship program and one main thing I’m wondering is if any counseling or support services are available to the interns. One reason I am passionate about TWLOHA is because of my own struggle with depression and addiction and I would anticipate that by reading and responding to others who write to TWLOHA about their personal pain, it may be challenging to respond to triggers in a healthy way. Is there anyone that interns can talk to on a regular basis to help process the things we are exposed to and talk about our own struggles in order to do our best work? Thanks for all you do!

    Reply  |  
    1. Anthony S.

      Hey Molly!
      I’m an intern from the Fall term of 2012. When I was there, there are definitely counseling and support services. TWLOHA knows that handling such serious topics on a daily basis is difficult, and they do everything they can to help you out. Your internship program manager has weekly to monthly 1 on 1 meetings with you to check in with you and make sure that you are doing OK. In addition, they inform you of outside counseling services that are affordable (in some cases, they are free) in case you need more support outside of the office. To top it all off, the company is very open about their interns taking breaks from work. I’ve been allowed to take a break from answering difficult emails, walk to a coffee shop, and hang out there for about 30 minutes before coming back for work. They are very careful not to overwork their interns or force them to be in highly stressful situations for too long.

      That being said, I would strongly suggest that you are in a good place before you apply for this position. While TWLOHA goes above and beyond to ensure that you are supported and that you have access to counseling services yourself, the position is difficult if you are still in the middle of struggling with major depressive episodes, addiction, self injury, or suicide ideation yourself. That does not mean that you can never do it, but it just means that you must wait until the timing is right. It is most important to be in a strong position yourself so that the help you give to others is as valuable that it can be.

      Hope that answered your questions. Good luck on your application!

      Reply  |  
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