Thursday, February 5, 2015

Intern Interview

     This week kicks off a new series for the Nehemiah Center blog: interviews! Over the next couple of weeks, you'll see a handful of stories from people who are involved in the Nehemiah Center. We hope that this dialogue will get you thinking and praying about the Nehemiah Center and your part in it. And who knows; maybe soon YOU will be the subject of an interview! 

     This week, I conducted an interview with one of the Nehemiah Center’s best and brightest. Currently working as an intern, Amanda embodies what Nehemiah stands for—love, dedication, and passion for God’s people. I hope that by reading this Q&A, you get a little snapshot into what we do and see how YOU fit in the Nehemiah family!

  • What is your name?         
    • Amanda Monell
  • What is your job at the Nehemiah Center?
    • I am a Counseling intern with FBC Community Ministries. I help wherever they need me and sometimes conduct counseling sessions with some of the Nehemiah Center kids.
  • Why did you decide to start working at the NC?
    • My graduate program requires a two-semester internship and a certain number of hours each week. I heard about community ministries through my boyfriend’s family, who are members at First Baptist, and interviewed with Ms. Jane. She informed me of the opportunities here, and here we are!
  • What is your degree/ what degree are you working toward?
    • When I graduate this summer, I will have a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University. I currently have a B.A. in Psychology from Auburn University.
  • What is your favorite part of working at the NC?
    • My favorite part is probably the diversity of experiences. There are many different opportunities at the Nehemiah Center depending on the day, the children, and the resources, so it is never boring!
  • What is the hardest part of working at the NC?
    • The hardest part for me is probably working with the defiant children. It is often difficult to strike a balance between effective discipline and assurance that they are still loved and cared for. It is important for them to know that the Nehemiah Center is a safe place, but it is also necessary that they obey our rules while they are here. Additionally, trying to reverse behaviors that they have learned, or continue to observe, in other environments is tricky.
  • What verses do you lean on as you work at the NC?
    • One of my favorites for life in general is Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
    • I also lean on Ephesians 3:18-19:
      "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."
      Not only are these verses a great reminder for me when I’ve had a rough day, but they are also great reminders of God’s love for these kids. Not only do we, the staff, love them, but God loves them even more than they do. I think that is encouraging for all of us!
  • What is your favorite memory at the NC so far?
    • I would have to say my favorite memory would be when I returned from Christmas break. One of the kids ran up to me, hugged me, and said, “You’re back! I missed you while you were gone!” A close second would be when, after a one-on-one counseling session, one of the kids asked if he could talk with me the next day, too. Everyone loves to be loved, and knowing that they look forward to seeing you is affirming as a budding counselor as well.
  • Would you rather work one-on-one or with a group of kids?
    • For now, I would have to say one-on-one, but I can see how my thoughts could change given more experience. Before my time at the Nehemiah Center, I had little to no experience working with children, so it is still a learning experience for me. As I become more effective and learn which techniques work with the kids, working with a group may not seem as intimidating.
  • Which do you like better: Wonderful Wednesdays or regular days?
    • I don’t know if I could pick between the two. I suppose it depends on the week. Some Wednesdays are truly wonderful in that you see the kids’ joy as they play with each other (and the staff); but there are also really great days when we are learning something new at the Nehemiah Center and the kids really have “ah-ha” moments!

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