Internships and Intergenerational Learning

Kathleen spent her day in a Labor Tribunal in Hong Kong advocating for fair pay and just working conditions for a professional, mother of three.  Stephen spent the day doing a ropes course with at-risk youth from Grahamstown on a school holiday. Meanwhile over 100 young adults are spending their days serving domestically through the Episcopal Service Corps, dozens more through A Christian Ministry in the National Parks, and three more as Reconciliation Interns at Coventry Cathedral in the UK.

Internships like these offer incredible opportunities for young adults to grow and explore, but they are also spaces for true intergenerational partnership and collaboration.

Take Stephen and Kathleen, two interns in the Young Adult Service Corps serving abroad. During the day these YASCers, as they’re called, serve the least of these, often children, the disabled, and the elderly. In serving their eyes are opened to the needs of the younger and the older, highlighting their own place in the lifecycle and giving perspective on their individual call to ministry.

But YASCers are also served and mentored themselves by the site-directors who host them, our brothers and sisters across the Anglican Communion. The mutual service of these young people is one of the beautiful ways our church builds and strengthens partnerships that will last into the next generation.

Each of the internship programs listed above provides such an opportunity for collaboration, education, and growth for both intern and host in a society desperately lacking in intergenerational learning spaces. They are places where knowledge can be passed on as well as where the differences between generations can give rise to new ways of doing things. They are spaces where young adults can learn about the realities of service in the world, while being supported and nurtured as they explore, make mistakes, and find success.

As a church we have an incredible wealth of expertise and life-experience that we have the opportunity to share. Looking at this wealth, how can we as a church make spaces for older generations to share that wealth, while allowing the younger generation to lead us into new possibilities?

Read more about  internship opportunities in the latest issue of Broadcast: E-News from the Office for Young Adult and Campus Ministries

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