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Hands of Hope Intern Highlight

Emilee attended Greenville University and graduated with a degree in Psychology. She played softball in college and enjoyed being in theatre. Although Emilee never really saw herself working with kids, she always seemed to end up in situations where she worked with children. She first served at her church in the children's ministry, working with 2 year olds, but you would never catch her in nursery working with the infants. Becoming a Hands of Hope Intern has changed all of that. Emilee has always known that she wanted to foster children, but she had no idea you could do it as a 22 year old. When her professor showed her the Casa de Esperanza Hands of Hope internship opportunity, she jumped at the chance without a second thought.

"My mother questioned me several times about doing this internship knowing very well I was not a huge fan of babies. I had my worries, but for whatever reason, I knew I had to do this. I've always had a heart for children in foster care. It's about the only thing that really makes me cry. I want to adopt all the kids with broken homes and love them. Every story breaks my heart. You learn a lot about patience and grieving through this internship. If it weren't for my two best friends at Casa being my shoulder to cry on when children leave, it would be really hard to make it through those times. I've also seen amazing moments like preemie babies gaining 11 pounds in a matter of months or a shy child singing loudly during music class. My first preemie infant stole my heart and made me into a baby lover. Now I feel like I can take care of any kid! This whole experience has rocked my world in the best of ways!"

Emilee plans to stay at Casa de Esperanza beyond her initial one year commitment. She hopes to start her master's online in the fall for Criminology through Loyola University New Orleans. She dreams of creating a place similar to Casa de Esperanza, but for previously incarcerated individuals and their families to restart their lives. She wants to give a voice to the voiceless and fight for justice in an unjust world.