‘Their want to present again … was so significant’

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This uplifting message greets guests to the CCI web site. I used to be reminded of it on the June assembly of the CCI board of administrators, which I chair. Our government director, Gaby Rattner, reported that two Greenwich Excessive College seniors selected to do their end-of-year internships at CCI. It was inspiring that these 18-year-old younger ladies who graduated Thursday have lengthy been a part of the CCI household.

“We had been excited when Gigi and Naomi reached out to us to ask about interning at CCI,” mentioned Rattner, noting that CCI already hosts social work interns and is absolutely dedicated to experiential studying. “However on this occasion, it was much more gratifying as a result of the ladies are CCI children and have been a part of a number of of our packages,” she mentioned. “Their want to present again to CCI on this approach was so significant.”

Griselda (Gigi) Vargas has been taking part in CCI packages since first grade. Naomi Turner’s involvement with CCI started in ninth grade.

“It was all the time a enjoyable expertise for me,” mentioned Gigi talking of her participation in CCI packages throughout my cellphone interview together with her and Naomi. Gigi might be going to Norwalk Group School with plans to switch to the College of Connecticut and research psychology. She spoke of CCI workers as a supply of inspiration for her curiosity in psychology and social work.

Naomi, who has been a scholar within the Greenwich public colleges since pre-Ok, additionally spoke of the CCI workers position in her life, noting how a lot they’d helped her together with her schoolwork and enhanced her studying expertise. In looking for this CCI internship, she wished to proceed a relationship with the workers who had been so significant to her since ninth grade.

Like Gigi, Naomi might be attending Norwalk Group School and plans to switch to the College of Connecticut. She hopes to pursue a profession in radiology.

For his or her CCI internships, Gigi and Naomi had been every assigned to create a program for CCI elementary faculty contributors. These packages had been to deal with Gigi’s and Naomi’s personal pursuits. Gigi’s program centered on animals, and Naomi’s was centered on science, and extra particularly outer area and astronomy. They engaged in brainstorming about doable summer season actions and planning CCI’s summer season packages.

Gigi mentioned her animal program consisted of coloring and spelling actions, academic movies, and journeys to the zoo. Each interns got here up with an inventory of actions that included films, tales, video games, puzzles, lesson plans and reserving journeys for the summer season.

With social work on the coronary heart of all its programming, CCI seeks to construct belief and lasting relationships with kids and households. It supplies continuity and consistency via companies which might be freed from cost. With this deal with belief, continuity, particular person development, and lasting relationships, CCI differs from many different human service companies, to not point out the supply of free companies.

CCI’s packages embrace homework golf equipment, tutoring, after-school actions, summer season enrichment packages for youths, therapeutic counseling, supportive social teams for teenagers, seniors, particular wants adults, households in disaster, in addition to citizenship lessons.

Traditionally, a lot of the contributors in CCI packages have been residents of Greenwich Housing Authority developments, now Greenwich Communities, title for the inexpensive housing developments the place so many longtime residents of our bigger Greenwich group stay.

I requested Gigi and Naomi what they realized from the 120 internship hours they accomplished.

Each agreed that the internship had taught them to be chargeable for assembly deadlines.

“Time administration is essential,” Gigi mentioned.

Gigi mentioned she realized to be “extra observative,” which means that she realized to hearken to the youngsters, to be taught from them somewhat than impose her personal pre-conceived concepts.

“We created a bit of bond with the youngsters,” she mentioned.

Naomi mentioned she realized these identical issues however added the significance of working with completely different folks and sitting in on workers conferences. She mentioned it was beneficial to view participation in CCI packages from the workers perspective.

“It was very cool,” she mentioned.

Gigi and Naomi’s internships replicate the way in which they’ve carried ahead the help CCI has given them in earlier years, Rattner noticed.

Though quantitative measures often outline program success, Gigi and Naomi exemplify the qualitative dimension that defines CCI.

Alma Rutgers served in Greenwich city authorities for 30 years.

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