Internship Location: Chilton, WI
Organization Type: Nonprofit
Policy Area: Social Welfare
I interned at the New Hope Center (NHC), a nonprofit in Chilton, WI, this summer. I have worked for NHC in various residential group homes for the last two and a half years and was fortunate that the organization allowed me to spend a good chunk of my summer in the front office. The New Hope Center provides housing, direct employment, supported employment, micro-enterprises, day services, and transportation services to members of the disabled community within Calumet County. Because New Hope’s services are so diverse and integral to the daily lives of our clients, I was able to wear many hats and was exposed to many different public policy issues. I spent a lot of time compiling data for the Drive Program, a program at NHC that provides transportation services for our clients as well as individuals within the greater Calumet County community. That data will be analyzed by the head of the Drive Program and then used to apply for grants from the state of Wisconsin to expand the program. I also spent a lot of time in New Hope’s sheltered workshop. The topic of sheltered workshops and minimum wage for individuals with disabilities is a hot button topic right now, and my experiences allowed me to gain real world insight into how the issue impacts members of the disabled community, area businesses, and 14c nonprofits. This experience has opened my eyes to the many important services my employer provides my hometown community as well as the overwhelming support my community gives New Hope and my clients.