Allison shares her thoughts on her internship thus far:
Over the summer I began reading Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
I could never live alone.
I could never be a mother.
I could never stand up for myself.
As I flipped through the pages of that book, one thing became glaringly obvious. I could do those things. I am a woman, and I am a force to be reckoned with.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” William Shakespeare said that, and I strive to exemplify it.
When I was faced with finding an internship for my senior year at Goshen College I knew that I had to work with women and I had to work with empowerment. Mother has volunteered at the CCS food pantry for a few years so Soup Of Success made sense. Little did I know exactly how much sense it would end up making.
I came for a volunteer night with my church before I started my internship and I was hooked. Janice and Anna, both current program participants, helped us package cookies and I remember introducing myself and thinking, “I want to start this internship tomorrow!” When I started to fall behind on weighing and sealing packages Anna was right there to help and Janice showed us the perfect balance between working hard and having a good time.
On my first day of my internship I did not know what to expect. I came in with an open mind and prayed that God would use me in this place. Arriving at my cubicle I was greeted by a box filled with candy and office supplies and I couldn’t help but smile. This was going to be great!
The first thing I did was participate in a class called Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World, facilitated by Kathy Peterson. We talked about the 11 resources that we all have as well as the “Hidden Rules” of middle class. The women were encouraged to think of both bonding and bridging relationships they have that they have. Almost all of the women mentioned SOS as being a bridging relationship as it pulls them out of their comfort zones to steer them toward a better future. I felt so SO excited to be a part of that.
I really feel as if these women have pulled me into their circle. We speak candidly with one another and I am honored that the women are sharing their stories with me. I am so glad to be a part of their lives and I am glad that they are willing to be a part of mine.
There have certainly been difficult times, there always are with growth, but I have seen so much empowerment happening. I have never been one to let people get down on themselves and I think the women are learning that about me. I take a strength based approach to life and look for the good in every situation. I believe that being thrown down in life is life, but staying down is a choice. The fact that the women in this program are actively pulling themselves back up is very powerful. In the face of the people who have said that they are not good enough, and in the face of the people who gave up on them and walked away, these women are pulling themselves up and moving forward. They are making positive changes everyday. These changes are not just for the people who walked away though. They seem to be very personal. Feeling small and powerless is not an option any more.
That is a lesson I am learning everyday from the powerful, beautiful wonderful souls in this program. Everyday I pray that they continue being empowered to make positive choices; I pray that graduates of the program still feel the support of this place; and I pray that the women who will one day participate in the program begin making positive decisions to jump-start what will happen here.
“Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.” – Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves
Allison Krawiec is a Senior Psychology student at Goshen College and doing her fall placement with us at Soup Of Success. Allison’s cheerful, down-to-earth disposition makes her incredibly easy to approach and the women and staff all felt comfortable with her from the very beginning. She jumped right in with both feet and handles every situation with grace, positivity and a contagious smile.