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MMCC Program Works for Interns and Seniors, Too!

Brenda Benitez, who got her start through MMCC’s ‘Intern and Earn’ program, is now a marketing employee at the Bainbridge Adult Day Care Center. Seniors seem as taken with her as she is with them. (photo: Gary Axelbank)

by Gary Axelbank

November 26, 2018

 

The Mosholu Montefiore Community Center participates in the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Intern and Earn program (formerly called Young Adult Internshp Program – YAIP) to give Bronx youngsters a paid internship to help jumpstart start their careers, with all the associated benefits derived from the world of work.

The program is also is a boon to the senior citizens who attend the programs at the Bainbridge Adult Day Care Center.

Brenda Benitez and a colleague at the Bainbridge Adult Day Care Center (photo: Gary Axelbank)

Brenda Benitez, a twenty-five year old intern who went through Intern and Earn in the spring and got hired in the summer with a paid job doing marketing and recreation, says that a simple innovation she introduced, offering lottery scratch-off tickets as BINGO prizes, endeared her to the seniors.

“I think this center is helping a lot in this community,” she told thisistheBronX during an afternoon visit. “It’s like the seniors have depression, they have a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. But when they come here they have the opportunity to meet people, to talk with someone, and also be a part of a community and feel that they are motivated.”

Brenda might as well have been talking about herself and many of the other dozens of interns who have passed through this worthwhile MMCC program at Bainbridge. She is a Kingsbridge resident who came to the Bronx from the Dominican Republic fourteen years ago and with her GED, Intern and Earn hooked her up and now with a paying job, she intends to get back to college and earn her degree.

“This is a hands on experiential,” said Adriana Garcia, the Bainbridge Adult Day Care Center’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “The young people are getting basically the raw of everything.  They’re learning from their mistakes and constantly growing.”

Intern and Earn not only provides income from a job, but also valuable training they can use anywhere they go. It’s the kind of learning that you can’t get in a classroom.

“We’re constantly training them, teaching them things,” Garcia said. “It’s not a professor telling you this is what the textbook is and this is what you need to read. Some kids can’t learn that way, sometimes you need the hands on.”

Brenda Benitez (L) and Jamila Lindsay have both benefitted from ‘Intern and Earn’ (photo: Gary Axelbank)

The hands-on is also benefitting 21 year-old Jamila Lindsay from Co-op City who graduated high school and is looking towards a career in the medical field. She took a semester off from college to do this internship at Bainbridge. Because of it, she says, she’s grown.

“You actually learn a lot about time management,” she said, “and I was a shy person before, but I’m more outspoken now.”

Jamila particulartly loves it when the seniors fall in love and actually get married right at the Center, which she says happens periodcally.

“I feel very welcomed and loved, by the seniors,” she said. “I feel like their kids, their grandchildren. They treat you very good. They always try feeding me,” she laughed.

MMCC recently held a graduation for Intern and Earn participants and they welcome other applicants.

Applicants must be, 17 – 24 years old, live within the 5 boroughs (Bronx preferred), eligible to work, NOT in school or at work, have a 6th grade reading level or above.  For more information, contact: (718) 652-0282 and ask for “YAIP”.

Brenda Benitez (L) and Jamila Lindsay (photo: Gary Axelbank)

 

 

 

 

 

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