Emily Takes Some Pictures

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Here’s a little “behind the scenes” story about something you may not know we do at KIN.

I (Judith) should have a bumper sticker that says, “You had me at falafel.” That’s why, when Jani, our volunteer outreach coordinator, asked me to accompany Emily* to Yassin’s Falafel House, I didn’t hesitate to agree.

We arrived just as they opened. All the employees were busy with a catering order for thirty plates: yellow rice pilled into black containers, lined up behind the counter, waiting for different meats and veggies for each one. Don’t take my word for it. Emily took a picture.

At first, Emily was hesitant. Did I want her to photograph the menu? The cashiers? The sign? The longer we stayed, however, the more comfortable she became. “Let me get one from this angle,” she would say. But when I approached three ladies enjoying lunch at a well-lit table, Emily hung back. All three agreed to let Emily photograph their food—even the half-eaten gyro. She took a deep breath, stepped in, and caught some great images.

“I could never do that!” Emily whispered as we walked away.

“You’ll get used to it,” I replied. Most people are happy to help.

Emily made dozens photos in about 45 minutes that morning. She is one of three interns we’re mentoring through KIN this semester. Each will do something different, and each university program has different expectations for the places their students serve. It’s worth the time and effort for us because, at the end of the semester, three more people will better understand the international population in Knoxville, the work of KIN, and how they are uniquely equipped for non-profit work.

The sweet thing is, we receive more than we give with interns like these. They bring youthful excitement, fresh ideas, and a willingness to serve. In Emily’s case, we will also have hundreds of awesome photographs to use over the next few years. Thanks, Emily!

*Name has been changed for privacy.

January is #NationalMentoringMonth. When we mentor interns at KIN, we’re fostering a legacy of love for internationals in metro Knoxville. What do you think are the long-term benefits of mentoring? Let us know in the comments!

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