Meet Our 2018 Summer Interns!

Summer is a vibrant season at Mercy Street, when high school and college interns (“junior interns” and “senior interns,” respectively) fill the building. Senior interns are an essential part of the summer Leadership Intensive as they take on the roles of huddle group guides, small group leaders, and Mercy Street Industries managers. Their jobs also extend far beyond this - senior interns commit to a summer of doing life hand-in-hand with the community in West Dallas.

To learn more about the Leadership Intensive microbusinesses run by the senior interns, please visit www.mercystreetdallas.org/mercy-street-industries!

We are also privileged to have two new intern positions this summer working in the Development and Human Resources departments.

 
nikki camp

Nikki Camp, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Longview, TX

College: Texas A&M University

Studying: Human Resource Development

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? After working at camp, I felt like I was stuck in this spot of complacency and really wanted to do something different with my summer that would push me outside of my box as well as challenge me. I had heard about Mercy Street, and was really drawn to their idea of mutual transformation and committed relationships. The chance to get to hang out and learn from the same kids all summer sounded like an incredible time. So I thought why not apply and now here I am!

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? In the t-shirt shop [the Press at Mercy Street Industries] there is never really a typical day, which is challenging, but also keeps things fun. Each day we could do anything from printing the shirts, to burning screen, to cleaning the screens or other things. Most times in the workshop our days are full of good music and trying to get as many t-shirts done as well can.

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? My favorite moment at Mercy Street has for sure been when all the senior interns piled in a car and road tripped to Buc-ee’s for one of the other intern’s birthday. My favorite moment with the kids has been when we got to take the girls boxing one afternoon. It was so cool to watch them see how powerful and strong they were while in the ring.

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. One of my favorite ways to spend time with the high school interns is just driving and going somewhere simple like Braum’s. I love our drives because they are always filled with loud singing, laughter, and fun conversations.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? If someone is visiting during the fall, for sure go to the Texas State Fair! Other times of the year, watching the sunset from the walking bridge by Trinity Groves is beautiful. Some of the senior interns went up there and had a cake picnic once and watched the sunset. Also Creamistry on lower Greenville is by far the best ice cream I have had in Dallas.

 
mark courtney

Mark Courtney, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Belfast, Northern Ireland

College: I hope to begin studying marketing at Ulster University in September, but this year I took a gap year working and traveling.

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? I felt this internship was a good way for me to find out if full time youth work is something that I would like to do in the future.

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? I work in the Café, so often I’ll be in there with students. However, every day is different and we often go on trips on Mondays and Fridays with the students, which is a great way to get to know them.

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? ‘Friday Funday’ is always enjoyable and a great way to get to know the students. Several weeks ago, we went to a local boxing gym. It was a lot of fun learning a new skill with some of the students.

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. Playing card games, Kemp’s in particular. Whenever and wherever possible. It often gets very competitive.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? In another country (with better weather than Northern Ireland) and helping others in some way.

What should everyone add to their Dallas Bucket-list? El Si Hay, a taco stand in Oak Cliff. Best tacos I’ve ever had! Even if they’re the only tacos I’ve ever had.

 
oscar gonzales

Oscar Gonzales, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? I wanted to help empower the students that are brought up in the same neighborhood as me.

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? It just depends on the day. Mondays are full of meetings. Wednesday through Thursday, we show up ten minutes early and start mapping out the things that need to get done. Friday mornings are meetings then a fun activity in the afternoon.

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? Completing a full order of t-shirts with the students.

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. Taking a Slurpee break during shifts.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? South of Portugal.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? Grab tacos at El Si Hay then grab coffee at Davis Street Espresso.

 
jamie ross

Jamie Ross, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

College: Texas A&M University

Studying: Special Education

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? I heard about Mercy Street through a ministry in College Station called Youth Impact. I wanted to intern at Mercy Street to build relationships and friendships with the students here in West Dallas, and to equip myself as a future teacher.

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? Every day at Mercy Street is different, but a typical day is either in the auditorium learning about business and leadership skills and doing Bible study, or in the cafe making batches on batches of chocolate chip cookies.

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. My favorite way to spend time with the high school interns is playing cards and board games or driving around blasting music.

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? My favorite Mercy Street moment was going boxing with all the girls.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? In ten years, I want to be working as a high school math teacher in an urban school district.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? Everyone should add Davis Street Espresso cookies to their Dallas bucket list.

 
brittany tovar

Brittany Tovar, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Dallas, TX

College: Occidental College

Studying: Sociology

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? I first heard about the Mercy Street internship through my older sister. After reading about the program and Mercy Street as an organization, I was immediately interested. I loved Mercy Street’s focus on relationship building and empowerment and wanted to be a part of the impact this incredible organization has!

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? I spend the majority of the week with the incredible team in the Market! Over the last few weeks we have become experts in bath bombs, body butters, and even candles and I could not be more grateful for this group. I spend Thursday mornings in the cafe and will definitely be taking some of those recipes with me back to school! (PSA: everyone should try a cookie from the cafe.)

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? The field day we had! There’s something about throwing shoes and passing soaked sponges over your head in the Texas heat that really builds teamwork. Huddle Group 1 may not have played every game completely by the rules, but we were definitely the most creative!

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. I love working with my small group and hearing the awesome conversations we have! I also especially enjoy spending time with the group in the Market. As we wait for body butters to melt or bath bombs to set, our conversations are some that will stay with me after summer. Our group loves when the teams outside and visitors stop by to smell our products, or even just to take a break in the air conditioning!

Where do you want to be in 10 years? While I don’t have a clear picture yet, I do have areas where I hope to still be serving. I have a heart for ministry in urban areas, and pray that in ten years I find myself with an organization with the same heart!

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? I’ve recently been reminded that you cannot come to Dallas without roller skating at Redbird!

 
seveyon willis-hill

Se,Veyon Willis-Hill, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

College: Oklahoma State University Alum

Major: Human Development and Family Science - Child Family Science

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? I wanted to intern at Mercy Street because it gave me a chance to do what I love which is working with high school students. I feel called to minister and work with young adults so Mercy Street provided this for me. It also gave me new scenery in Dallas.

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? A typical day in the internship for me looks like making wooden designs such as signs, candle holders and other designs that we can create. It's definitely full of laughs!

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? My favorite moment so far was going boxing with the fellas and joking with the kids every day!

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. My favorite time to spend with the high school interns is honestly car rides and competing with them in sports. Even cracking jokes regularly.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 10 years I want to be in Texas with my own non-profit and after school programs. I also want to be a professor.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? Everyone should go to Spiral Diner and also the Trinity Bridge at night to meditate if they are in Dallas.

 
makiah wilmes

Makiah Wilmes, Leadership Intensive Senior Intern

Hometown: Flower Mound, TX

College: Texas A&M University

Studying: Sociology

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? I had heard so many things about Mercy Street and how great it was through an organization called Youth Impact at Texas A&M. I love Youth Impact and wanted to continue to do something similar over the summer, so it was pretty easy to sell me on Mercy Street.

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? During a typical work day I’ll open up the workshop and set everything up for the day (after I get my coffee). I’ll turn on the lights, bring out any tools that we may need, plug stuff in, turn stuff on, etc. The interns generally arrive 15 minutes before their shift, so I try to get there 15 minutes before them. After everyone is there I’ll give the interns a rundown of what we’ll be building on that particular day, and then we get to work! Mondays and Fridays look different from the rest of the days - Mondays are generally devoted to professional development for the interns, and on Fridays we take them to do a fun activity!

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? There have been so many favorites, but going boxing with the girls (currently) sits at the top of the list. It was really edifying to watch everyone encourage one another, have patience with one another, and have fun with one another even in the 100+ heat. I love sports and I’m pretty competitive, so I enjoyed being able to do something that I enjoy with people who I care about.

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. I love doing anything where we get to fully interact with the interns. Whether that be through Bible study or just hanging out in the cafe, they are all so much fun to be around. If I had to pick something specific, it would be a sport of some sort.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? I’d love to be in social work. I plan on going to grad school and then entering the field. Apart from a career I want like 12 kids, so hopefully that works out.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? I think everyone should go out on Mondays and play soccer at the Mercy Street Sports Complex. It’s a blast. Also, take a bike tour of some sort through the city and see all the sites. This is especially cool if you aren’t from the city or accustomed to the environment. Take a pit stop at Commissary and say hi to Oscar while you’re at it!

 
ty burke

Ty Burke, Development Intern

Hometown: Dallas, TX

College: University of Oklahoma

Studying: Accounting

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? My family has been involved with Mercy Street for as long as I can remember so I have always had an interest. It worked out perfectly with the time frame I had this summer!

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? I work with Mercy Street’s Director of Development making spreadsheets of contact information, setting up for fundraisers, and other development tasks.

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? I think my favorite moment so far has been the staff meeting. It really is a family/team here.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? I think being a mentor for one of these kids should be on the bucket list of everyone in the Dallas area. You have the opportunity to change lives and nothing can put a price on that.

 
adrienne drake

Adrienne Drake, Human Resources Intern

Hometown: West Dallas, TX

College: University of Texas at Tyler

Studying: Human Resource with a Minor in Business Administration

Why did you want to intern at Mercy Street? As a former intern of Mercy Street, I decided to return to give back. Making this decision of being an intern for the summer was beyond exciting because I knew it was all genuine love here.

What does a typical day in the internship look like for you? A typical day in the office would consist of keeping high school interns accountable about general information and payroll options. While working with Hannah, I've learned even more outside of human resources. One of the greatest things to look forward to is the friendliness of every employee. The smiles of others lead you into an environment where you are willing to come to work and actually get things done.

What is your favorite Mercy Street moment so far? My favorite moment so far since coming back to Mercy Street is seeing the growth of the high school interns that I once saw as children. Being able to see my personal growth show and transpire like my mentor Hannah Dapaah taught me has to be the most fulfilling moment for me so far.

Tell us about your favorite way to spend time with the high school interns. The best way to spend time with the interns is getting to know them and also what they want to become in the future. Simply getting our pens and journal and finding the nearest tree to just pour into each other.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 10 years I’ll be working in my field in which I studied, but more so looking into my own business/organization of giving back in some sort. Giving back has always been an instant dream due to my dedication of loving to see others win and also serve.

What should everyone add to their Dallas bucket list? The one thing everyone should add to their Dallas bucket list is taking a tour to Turtle Creek. Being able to find time for relaxations is so important. What’s better than sitting near a lake in the middle of the city?