August 05, 2013 | Matt Kucinski

Jeremy Smith is interning with Bayshore Christian Ministries

Every summer, hundreds of Calvin students scatter across the U.S. and around the world, researching, interning and exploring. This summer, some of these students are keeping us informed about their adventures. Next up: junior Jeremy Smith of Grand Rapids, Mich., a strategic communications major at Calvin College. This summer, Jeremy is interning with Bayshore Christian Ministries.

Where are you?

I’m in East Palo Alto, CA.

Why are you there?

I’m out here with Bayshore Christian Ministries learning about a particular avenue of ministry: holistic development. They’ve been invested in the EPA community for about 30 years doing community work saturated in the Gospel and rooted in Christian Community Development principles inspired by leader and Civil Rights activist John Perkins.

What's your typical day like?

As an intern, the (school) day begins at 7 a.m. We begin by preparing for our students in the classroom and teaching language arts, writing, math and other literacy skills. We do this until lunch, and after lunch we prepare for workshops that alternate every other day. Following our workshops we transport our students to a sports camp and pick them up later in the afternoon. On top of our classroom work we do home visits to build intentional and lasting relationships with the families of the students and take them on at least one field trip a week.

What (technically) are you doing?

My work as a BCM intern is to love on the elementary-age students in a holistic manner. Most of my job takes place in the classroom encouraging literacy skills, building relationships and affirming them as a diverse body of young community members. All this while growing as a young Christian leader on a team with about 15 other interns.

What (in layperson's terms) are you doing?

I’m interning on a diverse team of Christian leaders from around the country, teaching elementary students a variety of literacy and workshop skills and learning effective avenues of Christian Community Development and principles.

How has Calvin prepared you for this?

This past school year during my resident assistant training I was introduced to the CCDA through campus minister and friend, Nate Bradford. Calvin provided me with an opportunity to be exposed to this amazing area of ministry and experience it first hand. Also, I believe serving and learning at Calvin has prepared me to think more creatively and effectively as a teammate, not just as an individual.

What has surprised you so far?

The amount of behind the scenes work that elementary teachers, or teachers in general, have to do!! It’s wild but worth it!

How do you see this shaping your future?

Holistic development and (youth) ministry are both totally in my future. I’m not sure where I’ll be called but I know that this is a game-changer decision in my life. Definitely looking forward to growth and clarity for the next steps in life, not to mention the boldness it took to come to a new place, by myself, unknown to others and begin to make a name and reputation for myself. God is so good!

Best thing you’ve eaten?

This is tough, I really dig In-N-Out burgers though so I’ll go with that. Especially the Animal Style fries!

Best picture you’ve taken?

Probably out in San Jose at the top of a hill overlooking the city. Definitely a sweet experience.

What’s gone wrong?

One night one of our housemates got locked out of the house and had to sleep in his car! All of our phones were on silent and it was late when he got home so we were all asleep. We all felt terrible (But laughed about it looking back)!!

Met anybody memorable?

I’d say our BCM coordinator, and boss, Amy Joh. To me she embodies Jesus. Super quality woman!!

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