My first week in Orange County has been enlightening and fun. We began our trip with group enrichment activity to acclimate ourselves with each other and the surrounding areas of Orange County. The group went to the beach together and it was great to have time to be together as a group before diving into our first workday.
I was anxious to go to our community partner Girls Inc. on the first day because I had no idea what to expect. The experience thus far has been a very eye opening one. Coming in, I thought it would be structured as more of an internship for the first few weeks, but I was surprised to find out that it was more of a coordinated work day with the entire group. We began training and preparing for Eureka! camp. I enjoyed meeting the Girls Inc. staff members because they have experience with Girls Inc. and Orange County as a whole.
I especially liked going to the Duke alumni’s house because we got to talk about how Duke and Durham have changed in the past 50 years. Additionally, we spoke about another nonprofit in the area and how it helps decrease the number of homeless and food insecure people in Orange County. It was eye opening to know how many teens face homelessness or food insecurity in Orange County because even though I grew up in the Los Angeles area and have been to Orange County, people never really think about Orange County as being a low income area. It shows that many places in the United States, even places you wouldn’t suspect, have poverty and there are things we can do to help.