|Zaryn with youth at the Jamboree! June 1.|
Written by Zaryn Jennings
On my very first day interning at DC SCORES, I was sure I was going to get my first DC parking ticket.
I had been so nervous that I was going to be late for work that I left my car in a two-hour parking spot. I spent the walk to the metro worrying about it. However, as soon as I walked into the office that day, there were bigger things to worry about, and I quickly moved past the thought of a ticket.
When I got home, my car was still there and there wasn’t a parking ticket. Things had worked out and there was no reason to stress. That’s sort of how the rest of my summer went. Regardless of what was going on, as soon I walked into the DC SCORES office, there were bigger things to think about, and sooner or later, everything would work itself out.
It feels like forever ago that I walked into Thomson Elementary School for the first time, and now I’m packing everything up and getting ready to leave on my last day. I didn’t bring many items into the office, but I’m definitely leaving with a lot.
In addition to now owning enough DC SCORES T-shirts to wear every day of the week, DC SCORES gave me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise. I learned more interning at DC SCORES than I ever could’ve sitting in a classroom.
The people that work in the DC SCORES office are some of the hardest working and most welcoming people that I’ve had the opportunity to be alongside. It only took a few days before I felt like I’d been part of the team for much longer, and I quickly realized that relationships with coworkers could be translated into friendships.
My official title was “Communications Intern,” but I did much more than just that. I did a lot of communications, some programming, and bit of everything else. I loved walking home from work or summer camp, still wearing my DC SCORES shirt, and meeting program alumni along the way.
I can’t even count the number of high-fives I received or times I heard a kid yell “DC SCORES” from a car as I walked down a DC sidewalk.
I spent the last five weeks of my internship serving as one of the staff members at our Marie Reed Soccer & Arts camp. For six hours every day, I got the chance to get know these kids and the DC SCORES staff so well. It’s clear why the kids love our program so much and their excitement (though sometimes overwhelming) made those long days absolutely worth it.
Some days at camp were more exhausting than others; both mentally and physically. Especially on days, like the one last week, when an 8-year-old camper and a fluent Spanish speaker told me that I only “knew a little bit of Spanish.” It’s times like that when I could do nothing but smile. I told him that after studying Spanish for six years, I would hope that I know more than just a little, but he just laughed.
And now that I’m looking at my last day, I’m no longer worrying about whether or not I’m going to get a parking ticket (and yes, the count is at two). But I’m more focused on who’s going to take first place in our Poetry Slam! in the fall. Or who will be playing for the soccer championship on the Westside. I’m looking forward to going home and beginning my junior year at the University of Michigan, but I’m sad to be leaving DC and DC SCORES behind.
I loved working with this staff and these kids and it’s hard to believe that it’s going to be over so soon. Today at 6 p.m. marks the end of my summer, my internship, this experience.
But nothing I learned from this summer will soon leave me. It’s going to take awhile for me to not immediately offer to tie a kid’s shoe when I see it untied. Or to hear the name “Missy” and think it’s one of our campers saying “Miss Z.”
It's my last day, and I don't have much to worry about. That’s partly because I’ve learned to not leave my car in a two-hour spot in DC, but mainly because this summer, it’s become clear to me that with hard work, focus and a good sense of humor, everything always manages to work itself out.