Youth Service, Inc. is lucky enough to have summer interns helping us make an impact in the communities we serve. Xavier Alexander is interning with our Community Navigator.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. Where and what are you studying?

My name is Xavier Alexander. I am from West Philly. I’ve recently graduated from Kutztown University with my BSW degree. Currently, I am enrolled back into Kutztown University to pursue my MSW degree.

Q: What is your goal as an intern?

My goal as an intern is to build professional relationships with everyone within the agency, as well as with the other Youth Collaborative agencies. Also, I would like to expand my knowledge of the available resources in the City of Philadelphia.

Q: What is your main project during your time at YSI?

My main project during my time at YSI is working with YSI’s Community Navigator, Joseph Hill-Coles to help provide resources to help decrease homelessness for the older youth (18-24 years old). Before interning here, I would have never thought there were so many people between the ages of 18-24 that are experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia, so I want to be a part of helping decrease the number of people as much as possible.

Q: Did you know about YSI prior to starting your internship? If not, what would be one suggestion for a place to publicize information about the agency?

I did not know about YSI prior to starting this internship. I’ve always driven by the building, but I’ve never paid too much attention to it. I thought it was a part of Drexel’s housing or something of that sort. As far as publicizing, I think a lot of the universities should promote YSI as a resource for the students. Also, posting flyers on bulletin boards would work too.

Q: Why did you choose YSI when you were looking for a place to intern?

I chose YSI because when I was doing my undergrad internship at Friend Inc., located in Kutztown,PA, I realized how many people I positively affected by being able to connect them with community resources. That was a feeling that I felt like I needed to have with the people in my own community as well, so I made sure that a macro level field placement was top on my list when my professor was assigning agencies to the students.

Q: Why do you think it is important to intern at YSI?

I think it is important to intern at YSI because of the direct contact you get with the clients. With the clients being around your age, it is a bit easier for them to be themselves and establish that comfort level to want to self disclose their life issues and obstacles they are facing. That makes the engagement between the clients and staff easier to assess all of their needs.