Psychology Major Works to Address Youth Homelessness
Natalia Miasek '20 is interning with EdAdvance, an organization that promotes the success of school districts and communities in western Connecticut, where she is organizing events and learning about the importance of community engagement in addressing social issues.
August 19, 2019
By Natalia Miasek '20
This summer I interned with EdAdvance, an organization that works to create a connection between the community and its schools. My focus is on the issue of youth homelessness in Litchfield County. Throughout the summer I did research and asked for donations from locally run businesses to contribute to Torrington High School's “Care Closet.”
I have learned a lot about the issue of youth homelessness in the area. There are many teenagers in the city of Torrington who are homeless or in need of other resources to succeed in school. EdAdvance offers wonderful services that help many families.
This summer, I planned, organized, and advertised an event for the entire city. The Youth Resource Fair was held at the Torrington Library in August, and it was open for everyone to attend. Planning the event entailed identifying a location to host the event and finding resource companies to attend. The Torrington Library was more than willing to donate the space to host the event, which saved EdAdvance money that is now being used for donations for the teens and the Care Closest.
"Knowing that the community is willing to help each other in need was an amazing feeling."Natalia Miasek '20
While I was purchasing 30 backpacks, a Torrington resident found out about the event and paid for the backpacks and some of the toiletries. Knowing that the community is willing to help each other in need was an amazing feeling. Since the backpacks were donated, this enabled grant money to be spent on other supplies that the teens need.
The task that took me out of my comfort zone was asking well-known companies for donations. I was hesitant when approaching managers and asking for donations because I have never done that before. I always thought that they would reject me and would be unwilling to help, but most of them were willing to help and were pleased to donate to a cause that is working to address youth homelessness.
However, because of the paper work required of big companies, many of them weren't able to help. I found that the companies that helped the most were locally run, and the owners are longtime residents of the area.
My internship at EdAdvance has opened me to many new experiences in a very short amount of time. The friendly and optimistic feeling I get when talking to the organization's staff is something I hope to have when working in the future.
The Bergami Summer Internship Program is funded through the generosity of Board of Governors member – and former Board Chair – Sam Bergami '85 EMBA and his wife, Lois, and the Division of Student Affairs.