The sun is pouring in through the open garage door. The stagnant air and steaming sun are made bearable by a few fans; even so, the foreheads of the workshop interns are glistening with sweat. Music is barely audible over the table saw, sander, and co-workers strategizing the making of their products.
The workshop is one of the microbusinesses used in the Leadership Intensive. Through microbusinesses, students are taught life and business skills. The workshop teaches woodworking capabilities by producing wooden candleholders, coasters, and signs. Cody Garcia is one of the senior interns leading the workshop this summer.
Cody is from Jewett, Texas and is a senior at Texas A&M. He is studying sociology and, upon graduation, is planning on going to graduate school to become a school counselor. Cody has an undeniable passion for youth, which led him to do this internship. “I want to help them see their talents and skills…so they can be successful and not be the statistic many think they are going to be.”
The Leadership Intensive is eleven days in the making and it has been a busy week and a half. The senior interns had two weeks to train and prepare to teach and mentor the full-time and part-time interns, who are all local high school students.
This past week consisted of experimenting for the workshop. Cody had to test various ways of production to find the most successful way to run the shop. “I was in the workshop everyday, even on the weekend. It was a lot of organizing, but now we have a set up that is effective and productive."
Even more than finding efficiency, there have been several lessons Cody has learned in the past three weeks. “I think I anticipated patience but I didn’t realize the amount of patience that I would need. I’m currently growing in that and hopefully will continue to this summer.”
All of the senior interns are in various host homes for the summer and Cody has especially loved staying with his host family. "They're very hospitable and caring about what is going in my life and my development as a person and in my walk with Christ. That relationship with them has been sweet and I am very thankful for it." Cody quickly said this was something that has been really beneficial to his experience, thus far.
Students recently finished the second week of the Leadership Intensive. This week has been busy with business tours, various electives, leadership workshops, work shifts, and small group time. The rest of the summer will only continue to be filled with opportunities for students to grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.