Interfaith Center Intern, Summer 2010
Alumna, University of Pennsylvania
"How My Faith Inspires My Work"
"Every time I've run into one of my friends on the street these past few months and they ask me about my summer, I inevitably end up telling them how much I am loving my job, filling them in as best I can with a peek into the kind of work the Interfaith Center does. My friends immediately see the energy it gives me from the glow on my face and excitement in my voice as I talk about the various projects I've been charged with this summer. But the thing is, the reason I love my job here is not because of the photo archiving, website redevelopment, story collecting, or any of the other initiatives I've been working on, persay. The truth is the main reason I love working here is because of the relationships I've formed through the staff contacts.
"Within weeks of my start date, not only has I met just about everyone in Margie's immediate family, but I had also borrowed an awesome series of DVD's from Imam Miller about the history of the notion of freedom. I met up with Alternative Break leader and former intern Talia for some lunch-time musings on life and faith, I began collaborating on a video project with Zia, film student and former “Walking the Walk” participant, and I biked to board member Sr. Judith's house in West Philadelphia to share my understanding of my own Catholic identity as it deepened in light of interfaith work. I have spent hours talking to fellow interns Ari—a JTS rabbinical student—and Sharan—a Sikh studying at Bryn Mawr College—about their own traditions, goals, dreams, and aspirations, and have had the unique pleasure of being a part of staff learning lunches and board meetings where I got to hear about the inner workings of the leaders and program coordinators, clergy men and women who bring the Center's vision to life.
"Truly, the reason I love this internship is because I am connected to real people of deep faith who strive everyday to live out their values of pluralism, understanding, respect and cooperation with the other. Relationship-building is the truly at the heart of religious pluralism, and this is the work that the Interfaith Center accomplishes, day in and day out. These are the bridges the Center is cultivating. And this is the reason I can't help but glow when I talk about my summer job here!"