I’d imagine that that is a duck’s way of saying, “Greetings!”

Hello, everyone! My name is Marie and I will be a 2nd year student at American in the Fall. For now, I’m a summer intern at DUCK in Phoenix, Arizona, which makes the greeting ever so relevant. DUCK is an acronym that stands for Downtown Urban Community Kids. We work in a specific community in Phoenix, offering the children a summer program in the park and recreation center. We plan out days of fun and academic enhancement so the kids aren’t sitting at home bored, nor are they losing any knowledge they’ve gained from school in the last year. In some cases, the kids have not been in school, so this is definitely an enriching program for them.

So far, it has been a great two weeks. I met with other staff members and participated in a food drive as well as a rummage sale. One piece of advice I’d like to give anyone who plans to work in this field is to get to know your colleagues through events like these. I don’t mean in a creepy, know everything about them kind of way. I mean, get to know how they function in the work environment, their work ethic, and how they interact with the kids. Many times, if they’ve worked there for a while, it is beneficial to you to see how they act so you can adjust appropriately when it comes time to meet the kids. Also, it assimilates you into the work environment much better and you can gauge how you feel working there.

In terms of planning the program, one thing I learned is that you can never plan too much. I work with the junior high and high school aged kids at DUCK and sometimes events or activities run too long or too short. Perhaps a staff member forgot equipment or communication was a little disorganized. Making alternative plans or having back up plans ready at your disposal can make the program run smoother and decrease any stress in the workplace.

Also, when given the opportunity to throw a plate of whipped cream in their coordinators’ faces… they will take it.

Until next time, I will leave you with a song we’ve been hearing a lot of at DUCK as the kids play pool and ping pong…

Please, you have to admit it’s catchy.

Walking on Sunshine/Halo – Glee Cast