Despite social distancing, our teen Social Enterprise Internship kicked off virtually in mid-March and is going strong! To accommodate for the Stay at Home order, we’ve restructured the internship to consist of themed virtual sessions three times a week. Between our sessions, the girls work on assignments related to their specific projects.
Running this internship program virtually––through video calls and WhatsApp messages–– has been a learning and growing experience. But already the girls are inspiring us with their commitment to build community and gain experience in social enterprise!
Spring interns from our 2020 Sister Circles program
Clockwise: Benitah, Solange, and Charlotte
The Teen Social Enterprise Internship allows the participating teen girls to immerse themselves in professional experience through their work with Treetops. During the 10-week program, they become part of the Treetops Social Enterprise team––supporting sales and retail, learning about the power of storytelling, planning for their future, and designing a final product for Treetops’s core line that shares a message they want to convey.
One of the main components of social enterprise is the art of storytelling. It is what communicates a message and builds connection. In typical circumstances, social enterprise interns would have the opportunity to attend in-person sales events to practice this skill and speak to customers about our products. In an effort to be creative in how this internship runs during our quarantine, we have turned to social media as our main platform to tell the teen’s stories and the story of Treetops.
For their first internship assignment, the girls were asked to share what our “I Can Do Hard Things” shirt means to them. The purpose of this assignment was to virtually build a connection with our community and share a message of inspiration.
What made this assignment special was to see how each young woman told their story. Each of their personalities shined through the camera as they spoke about their examples of conquering challenges.
Benitah, 10th grade
“Most people think women can't do hard things like men can, well I'm here to tell you that you can. If you want something, work hard for it and you will get it!”
When Benitah wanted to start her own YouTube channel, she had many people tell her it would be too difficult. She ignored the doubts and after consistent work, a positive attitude, and a determined mindset, she now has over 300 subscribers!
Charlotte, 12th grade
“Be courageous and never give up. If you fail, you keep moving because we learn from our mistakes.”
Ever since Charlotte was little, she's had a dream to be a doctor. She knows it's not easy, so she has a plan in place to help her accomplish her goal which includes being clear on what you want, why you want it, and how you will achieve it.
Solange, 12th grade
“Follow your goals and at the end of the day, you will be proud of yourself. No one will come to make you happy, except you.”
Solange loves to sing and when she mentioned to her friends that she wanted to be part of the Church choir, they told her she was too shy to stand in front of people and sing. Solange listened to her own heart and decided to go for it anyway. She loves every moment of it!
In a time where we are each isolated in our home, their message inspired each of us to find the courage to conquer our current obstacle and “do hard things.”