Puente del Pueblo

Launched in 2008 at Timber Lake apartments in West Chicago, Puente is a ministry of Wheaton Bible Church and Iglesia del Pueblo, the Hispanic congregation at Wheaton Bible Church. Outreach serves at Puente on behalf of Wheaton Bible Church, providing consultation, management and community services. In 2012, city officials asked Puente to take over its youth service system and expand its after-school and summer-school youth programs to more apartment complexes in West Chicago. Today, Puente is offering programming at Main Park Apartments and continuing to expand at Timber Lake Apartments.

Outreach Community Ministries is a Christian community service organization, striving to put Christian faith into responsible action. The organization has been called into existence by local churches to respond supportively to the needs of young people and their families. The organization is committed to providing excellence in human services and demonstrating compassion for the whole person. Outreach Community Ministries also offers services through Warrenville Youth and Family Services (WYFS) and Wheaton Youth Outreach (WYO).

Summer Youth Development Internships

Summer academic programs at Puente del Pueblo provide students entering Grades 2-8 in the West Chicago Timber Lake and Main Park communities with opportunities for further academic enrichment, development of social skills, positive relationship building, structured recreational activities and optional Christian Education.

Intern Responsibilities and Opportunities

The intern will receive learning experiences in the overall working of a Christian, community based human service organization. The intern will gain valuable knowledge working with a culturally and ethnically diverse population of youth and staff.  Interns will learn positive and effective discipline and behavior management techniques, and will be challenged in leading both small and large groups and will help with curriculum development and activity planning and implementation.  Interns will have the opportunity to help children develop in both academic and life skill areas and will model and teach Christian values and faith. Interns will also work closely with staff, implementing goals and working through ideas and problems that may arise.  Interns will be exposed to the principles and practice of volunteer management in the not for profit sector.  If interested, an intern may participate in the development and delivery of Christian education curriculum.  For applicants with moderate or better Spanish skills, an intern may have the opportunity to manage Puente’s summer application process which includes extensive direct contact with Puente’s immigrant parent population and a significant opportunity to practice Spanish.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Encourage, challenge and evaluate students
  • Guided Classroom teaching
  • Facilitate team-building activities
  • Organize and lead planned special events during the summer
  • Actively participate in weekly staff meetings
  • Planning and execution of summer program logistics, in cooperation with staff.
  • Optional: Plan and teach a Christian education class and lead morning devotions

Optional: Guide Parents through the application process in Spanish or Arabic, managed the related administrative tasks.

Training and Supervision

The Intern will be supervised by the program staff and will be fully part of the PdP staff team.  Throughout the experience, interns will participate in weekly group training and activities.  Sessions include: theology of transformational community development, suburban poverty, the realities of life as an illegal immigrant and US Immigration policy, biblical justice, a fun group outing, dinner in the home of an immigrant and/or refugee, responsible charitable practice; helping without hurting, and more.

Hours

The internship will be preferrably 40 hours/week for 9 week, June 12 – August 11.  A 24 hour/week option may be available.

Requirements

Internships are available for BA or MA students in Education, Sociology, Spanish, Psychology, Missions or Christian education fields. Must have a heart for working cross-culturally to embrace the theology of service to the vulnerable. Applicants must be supportive of the organization’s statement of Mission and Faith.  Spanish preferred.

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