Nych Weaver is a senior at IUPUI School of Public and Environment Affairs who has worked for CICF as an intern since Feb. 5, 2018. He will graduate this summer with a degree in management.
What do you do at CICF?
I am an intern and split my time between CICF and Carriage House East apartment community on the Far Eastside and worked alongside Alicia Collins, director for community collaborations. During my internship, one of my projects included researching community crime prevention strategies in other cities, including Atlanta and Memphis. Atlanta’s model focused on giving the community unique opportunities that they were interested in, for example, a charter school and golf program. In Memphis, the city trains their police to deescalate situations instead of making arrest. I also learned that 40,000 arrests are made every year in Marion County, 30-40 percent of which are mental health related and 85 percent involve people who have dealt with drug/alcohol abuse.
On the Far Eastside, I conducted employment and education surveys for the residents of Carriage House East. Staff wanted to know what resources are needed for residents to achieve their employment and education goals. We learned that a common barrier that keeps residents from achieving their goals is access to transportation. I also developed stress awareness workshops for residents at Carriage House East to engage in open dialogue and build relationships with each other. I wanted to learn what causes them stress and how they cope with it.
I learned the significance of active listening as it relates to resident engagement. Residents wants to be more involve in their community, especially the decision making that impacts them, and they genuinely want to make a difference in their community.
What did you learn from your internship?
Three important skills that I learned and will use moving forward include researching, writing and presenting. The internship provided me opportunities to improve in each of these aspects in order to be successful in my role.
While I was working on the Far Eastside, I learned the significance of active listening as it relates to resident engagement. Residents wants to be more involve in their community, especially the decision making that impacts them, and they genuinely want to make a difference in their community. I believe it is important for residents living in these areas to be engaged in these decisions because they have a better understanding than those in the higher ranks.
One of the focuses for residents on the Far Eastside is centered around services offered to residents that develop life and employment skills. Through community conversations, I also found out that the crime in the area seems to be the residents’ biggest concern.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I am interested in working with a sports organization that has a foundation. I’d like to serve in a community relations position. This opportunity has been a fulfilling experience and helped prepare me for my future. I see improvements in my writing, time management and communication skills.
What did you learn about a community foundation?
Community foundation do not solely donate money to different organizations. They are responsible for researching organizations and improving the quality of life across the spectrum.
What is your biggest take away?
I was fortunate enough to sit in on a grantee meeting with Reach for the Youth. Aaron McBride, who works for the organization, said something profound that became my biggest take away. “They are not bad kids, they are making bad decisions.”