Intern Spotlight - Nadirah Shorter from TCU

Nadirah comes to Fortress everyday prepared for the five hours of chaos ahead of her. She works as an intern with our preK-1st grade age group, and there are some wild days for sure! She is a student at TCU until next spring when she graduates. With a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies under her belt, she will then continue on to get her master's in Speech Pathology. We are blessed to have such a dedicated student interning with us this summer!

Nadirah heard about the summer program at Fortress when we set up a booth at the Careers in Health Fair at TCU. She was interested in applying because of the unique opportunity and the challenging responsibility that she thought an internship at Fortress would bring her.

A day that Nadirah will never forget is when the preK-1st graders had a talent show-turned-dance party. Many of the kids' talent was doing some sort of dance to a Top 40 song, or singing the "Frozen" theme song from the Disney movie that we all know and love. By the end of the event, every person in the room--including the volunteer youth group--was shakin' it to top 40 songs. "It was crazy because a lot of them had a lot of rhythm and knew how to dance extremely well!"

Nadirah suggests Fortress as a great place to start with first-hand urban environment volunteer work. Even if you do not have teaching experience, a new volunteer can easily acclimate to our learning system, she says.

Nadirah feels that God placed her in the right situation for her to work in this summer with the preK-1st grade age group. "Just to be a part of these children's lives and to see them excited to learn has really solidified my choice to be a Pediatric Speech Pathologist." We are moved to know that Fortress and its students have helped inspire people to do good work with at-risk youth.

The toughest part of this summer for Nadirah has been "sustaining the amount of energy it takes everyday working with small children in addition to a youth group in the afternoons." Balancing two other jobs as well as a summer class at TCU does not make it any easier to be at full brain capacity all the time! But, we can see that Nadirah has found a way to do it, because she has been an integral part of our preK-1st grade program.