Candlelight Vigil: TIPS Intern Reflection

Posted On January 9, 2014 By | No Comments on Candlelight Vigil: TIPS Intern Reflection

This guest post was provided by Essex High School student intern, Samantha Roberge, as a part of her TIPS internship program.

I’m Samantha Roberge, a senior at Essex High School interning at COTS as a TIPS student in my Community Internship class. TIPS stands for Training Interns and Partnering for Success, and is a program in which students, 16 years old and up, receive an unpaid 40 hour internship (of their choice) to allow them to experience work ethic and professionalism as well as receiving communication and interpersonal skills.

I chose COTS as a place to intern because I love their mission of helping those in need. I also felt that it was something I would highly be interested in helping out with and getting to know the organization better.

As a part of being an intern, I joined them, as well as many others in our community, at the organization’s annual Candlelight Vigil on December 19th.

The vigil was held outside of Burlington City Hall to recognize those who have struggled with homelessness in Vermont. The event gave people a chance to come together as a community and recognize those who don’t have the necessities: a house, food, clothes, everything that most of us have and take advantage of on a daily basis.

They recognized the individuals by reading their name, how they started out and how far they’ve come now. It was eye opening to hear how one can start out at such a low point and get right back up.

What stood out to me were the stories of each of the individuals that had been told. It opened my eyes and showed me that nothing, no matter how big or how small, should be taken for granted. There are some people who would be lucky to have a portion of what we all have and that’s what matters, something that seems so small to us could seem like a big deal to someone else.

The Edmunds Middle School Chamber Choir, under the direction of Betsy Nolan, performed at the opening of the Candlelight Vigil.

Listening to how homelessness affects children also really stood out to me. While the entire vigil was touching, hearing about the children and what they have had to go through is what was the most shocking to me.

I’ve learned, not only at the Vigil, but at my internship as a whole, that while homelessness is a growing problem, there are people in the community who care and want to donate or attend an event like the Candlelight Vigil to help recognize those who should not be forgotten or ignored.

Categories: Events, Homelessness, Staff and Board, Volunteers
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