Emma Taylor’s experience working at Preble Street this past summer solidified her desire to pursue a career in the nom-profit sector. Preble Street is an organization that tackles issues of hunger and homelessness in the Portland, Maine area. As a Levitt Public Service Intern, Taylor ’13 worked on a variety of projects, both in direct service and in assisting the administration.
Taylor worked with the Maine Hunger Initiative, which provides support to the food pantries in the Greater Portland area and surrounding towns, as well as “Summer Meal Sites” or locations where children can come receive a meal in a safe environment. Taylor assisted Preble Street with implementing a mini-grant from Healthy Maine Partnerships to provide computer access to pantry clients. She also worked in the Preble Street Day Shelter Kitchen, helping the organization prepare over 1000 meals a day.
Taylor also cultivated her leadership skills at her internship. She directed volunteers helping out with the bag lunch program. This included talking to the volunteers about Preble Street’s initiatives, setting up the lunch supplies, and overseeing the preparation of the meals. “I very much enjoyed seeing this project through from start to finish every Thursday and Friday when I was in the kitchen,” said Taylor. “I had to figure out substitutions for anything we did not have in the pantry, and problem solve along the way.”
The efficiency and compassion of Preble Street stood out to Taylor, and she is grateful to have had to opportunity to work at such a beneficial organization. “My experience here has impacted me more than positively,” said Taylor. “I know now that I specifically want to work at a place like Preble Street. I can see here how a healthy and loving non-profit works and thrives despite increasing numbers of homeless, poverty-stricken, and disenfranchised people during a time of economic crisis.”