chooses 11 young people for internships in D.C.
May 10, 2006
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Eleven young people have been selected as the 2006 United
Methodist Board of Church and Society Ethnic and Young Adult summer interns.
The interns will be in the nation’s capital June 4-Aug. 1. Interns live
together and are assigned to work in organizations addressing social justice
concerns. The work is supplemented by evening intern-led devotions, Friday
seminars on topics of timely social justice concern, field trips and Sunday
worship in area United Methodist churches.
The internship has been sponsored by the board for the last 20 years and has
at least 200 participants who either now lead the church in some way or
influence society in their vocations, says the Rev. Neal Christie, executive
with the Board of Church and Society.
Agnes Poveda, a student at Florida International University in Miami and a
member of United Wesley Hispanic Methodist Church, is excited she was chosen for
a 2006 internship.
“My pastor sent me an e-mail (about the program), and when I read it I
thought, ?Wow this would really be an awesome experience’ and I really wanted to
do it,” she says.
At first she didn’t apply because she works and wasn’t sure she could get the
time off. Her boss was understanding and supportive. “I talked to my boss and
she gave me the time off,” she says. “Then I started praying.”
Christie says the essay Poveda wrote about immigration helped her get into
“Her compelling personal essay on immigration is more than appropriate during
this time, and she shows immense sensitivity and concern for our nation’s
current situation,” Christie says.
Being an immigrant from Cuba “kind of defines who I am,” Poveda says. In her
essay, she writes about America being the land of freedom and a place where
people come to live out their dreams.
“Immigrants come to the United States because they are going through economic
hardships in their country,” she says. “They come here with a dream. Most have
been here a long time, they pay taxes and don’t have a chance to become citizens
and I don’t think that is fair. As a Christian I believe in justice and I
believe in this country.”
Poveda says she applied for the internship because of her family. “We all
came from Cuba and I am pretty much the only one who is making a career here,”
she says. “It is really important to them for me to be something and to do
something in life.”
Her mother became a Methodist in Cuba when Poveda was 3 years old. “I have
been a Methodist ever since,” she says. “I know I can make a difference. God has
been with me every step of the way.”
The Ethnic and Young Adult summer interns program is open to young adults
ages 18-22 representing the five ethnic caucuses of the United Methodist Church
— Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and Pacific Islander.
“Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to live and work in
Christian community many miles from their homes,” Christie asks.
The 2006 United Methodist Board of Church and Society Ethnic and Young Adult
summer interns are:
- Joe Kim, 20, a student at the University of Michigan majoring in English
and political science. He is from the East Ohio Annual Conference.
- William Seo, 21, a student at State University of New York at Binghamton
studying political science/pre-law. He is from the New York Annual Conference.
- Aloise McCullough, 18, attends Tulsa (Okla.) Community College and is
studying mass communications/journalism. She is from the Oklahoma Annual
- Militoni Toetu’u, 18, attends the University of Hawaii and is majoring in
engineering. He is from the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
- Massiel Wingeier-Rayo, 21, attends Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C., and
is majoring in religious studies and political science. She is from the
Western North Carolina Annual Conference.
- Agnes Poveda, 19, attends Florida International University, Miami, and is
majoring in political science. She is from the Florida Annual Conference.
- Lupe Maka, 20, attends Chaminade University of Honolulu and is studying
criminal justice. She is from the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
- Xochitl Garcia, 18, attends Hendrix College, Conway, Ark., and is majoring
in religion/philosophy. Garcia is from the Rio Grande Annual Conference.
- Monica Michelle White, 20, attends Howard University, Washington, and is
majoring in public relations, political science. She is from the Rio Grande
- Lydia Baek, 20, attends Oxford College of Emory University in Atlanta and
is from the West Michigan Annual Conference.
- Sade Marie Young, 20, attends California State University, Hayward Ethnic
Studies. She is from the California-Nevada Annual Conference.
*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville,
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or
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