Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

For Junior Sarah Gunn, summer break was more than fun in the sun. As an intern at St. Margaret’s House in South Bend, the humanistic studies major took on the huge responsibility of making summer both a learning and entertaining experience for local children.

Gunn worked as the summer children’s program director at Saint Margaret’s House, a day shelter for women. As director, she organized a wide range of activities from arts and crafts to games, athletic events, and field trips for the children. “I tried to infuse some educational aspect into each activity too,” says Gunn of her effort to do more than just keep the children busy. Gunn says her favorite activities were “Around the World Week,” Kids Yoga, and their field trip to the zoo. “I wanted them to be able to take something away from Saint Margaret’s House and use it later, whether it be something physical or something they learned,” says Gunn.

Gunn also performed other tasks around Saint Margaret’s house, including cooking and working in the clothes closet. Her internship was through the Summer Service Program managed by the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) .

Gunn credits director Carrie Call, and Olivia Barzydlo in OCSE for supporting her through her internship. “She [Call] really wanted our summer service experiences to be about our growth as people and not about just getting some work done for our placements.”

Gunn says the Saint Mary’s curriculum, which forced her to be “a more active student and person in life,” helped prepare her for her summer job. “Without my experience at Saint Mary’s I don’t know if I would have been able to handle a leadership position with as much efficacy.”

Gunn’s summer wasn’t all work and no play; she had a chance to visit her brother in Alaska. Taking in the land she called “beautiful and inspiring,” Gunn went on a number of hiking and camping trips, even seeing Denali (formerly Mt McKinley).

A Michigan State transfer, Gunn says she is amazed at the education she is getting at Saint Mary’s. “Everyday is a unique experience at Saint Mary’s,” says Gunn. “We have a very tight community and I have a feeling of family on the campus. I also get to have close relationships with my professors, which is not possible at a lot of schools. It’s also unique to have our relationship with Notre Dame. Right now I have one class over there, and of course I’m going to the football games.”