Lead Intern Zack: Summer Wrap-Up

Today's featured blogger is Zack Cartmel. Zack is one of our lead interns this summer, and will begin his senior year at Texas Christian University in the fall.

Zack with (left to right) Aaron and Fabian.
I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to serve as a lead intern at Fortress this summer. While the summer started 8 weeks ago, our work began all the way back in January. We spent all of the spring semester planning and preparing for the summer. It has been cool to see how our preparation has come to fruition over the past 8 weeks.

The best part of working at Fortress is definitely getting to hang out and interact with the kids each day. It's fun to be able to play and joke around with kids each day and develop relationships with them. I hope that the relationships I build help the kids feel loved and that God uses me to reveal His truth to them. A highlight of the summer as an intern was the Junior High boys Purity Retreat. We went out to Possum Kingdom Lake and got to hang out and swim with the boys. We got to talk to the boys about respect. We discussed respecting others, respecting women, and respecting ourselves as children of God. Although we didn't always stay on topic, the boys did open up great discussions about heaven, Jesus,
why we believe what we believe and how we know it's real. I'm glad that we got the opportunity to serve them and spend that time with them.

Fortress also has the opportunity to work with several youth groups over the course of the summer. The kids from the youth groups serve as buddies to our kids each week. We as interns educate the youth groups on poverty through our Urban Experiences. We take them on a Prayer Drive through our neighborhood, take them down to Lancaster Avenue to interact with Fort Worth's homeless, have them shop for groceries on a poverty-level budget, and have them work through a month in the life of a family in poverty. I hope that these different experiences help educate these kids about poverty and the lives of our kids.

Fortress YDC is a great place to gain experience in the non-profit world, and work with kids. I'm glad to have had the chance to serve the kids here this summer and hope that God has used this summer to change their lives.