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Josiah Venture
Up one level
 Sarah Elizabeth Henry

Major: Criminology & Sociology
Hometown: State College, PA 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this experience when I went on a mission trip to the Czech Republic when I was 16. I later looked into it online to get more details. My church was a major part of finding and doing this internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This past summer, I lead a team of college students throughout Latvia to teach music and spread the word of God. Over the summer our main focus was reaching out to kids ages 12-20 and really forming relationships and connecting them with the local church. Throughout the summer, we visited many different towns and lead three camps. During these camps, we taught students how to play instruments and sing while also showing them the love of God through our actions. We played games and sports while also holding music workshops. We spent a lot of time learning about the culture and the language so that we could better connect with students. At one of the camps, I gave my testimony and it opened the door for some incredible deep conversations with students. We were able to bond over struggles and life experiences that showed even though we've grown up an ocean apart our experiences can still be similar. While most of the internship was relational, as a leader there was a lot I had to do that was organizational. I loved running camps and connecting with students while also supporting my team, short term church teams, and the local Latvian church teams.

Being a sociology major we talk about people and how they relate to one another. By being very relational and seeing how cultures collide and people work together, I was able to see that in real world contexts. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by giving me a real life look at how cultures are different. Being a sociology major we talk about people and how they relate to one another. By being very relational and seeing how cultures collide and people work together, I was able to see that in real world contexts. This summer also forced me to be organized and diligent in my work. These are skills I have carried over into school especially in working on my thesis. This summer also taught me how to be a leader and what my strengths and weaknesses are.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals have been majorly shaped by this experience. Because of the two summer internships, I have done with Josiah Venture, I plan to work with them full time. After graduation, I hope to move to Latvia and continue the ministry there. I have a dream that one day I will be able to translate lessons and sermons in Latvian and build stronger connections with students by communicating in their first language. I love the people and the culture and I would not have found this desire and love if it would not have been for this internship.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this internship. During the internship you learn so much about yourself, who you are, and where you come from. This internships has shaped the person I am today. This internship provides you with a loving community like you've never experienced while having the opportunity to grow as a leader and learn and experience other cultures.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program is what made this internship possible. By requiring me to do an internship or study abroad, I looked for one. I do not know if I would have done one otherwise. Also, their dedication to opening other students to new cultured caused me to look to go abroad. Without the financial support I would not have been able to do the internship. Sadly, money and finances can become a roadblock for people to achieve great things. I am so thankful that that was not my case.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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