Catherine’s Health Center’s AmeriCorps VISTA Member Lyndi Weener -Kuiper was a Journalism Intern at WMEAC in Spring 2011 where she learned many of the skills she now uses at the Grand Rapids-based clinic.
“Getting in touch with Grand Rapids non-profit connections was really helpful,” said Weener -Kuiper. “When I went to interview at Catherine’s they knew about WMEAC and a couple of the staff members there had volunteered at WMEAC. It gave me points because they knew that WMEAC was a good place and that they were doing good things there.”
Lyndi knew that WMEAC was a good fit from the start. “I found an internship posting at WMEAC through my college and it felt perfect as soon as I found it. I was a writing major in need of an internship and WMEAC was looking for a writer,” said Weener -Kuiper. “I was involved in the environmental issues organization at Hope and living in an intentionally eco-conscious community at the time, so it felt like a perfect fit for my skill set, interests, and education requirements.”
Lyndi now edits, designs and writes content for several newsletters for Catherine’s. She organizes and markets educational classes and exercise programs and serves as a “lifestyle counselor.” “I speak with women in our women’s health program about making healthy lifestyle choices in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation. We set goals together, I provide them low-cost or free resources that might help achieve those goals, and I make phone call follow-ups to offer encouragement, support, and problem-solving,” said Weener -Kuiper.
Lyndi happily reflected on her time at WMEAC, reminiscing about friends she worked with and valuable information and skills she learned during that semester.
“I was given a lot of good responsibility and I was trusted. I got a lot of good hands on experience and freedom to research and blog about what I wanted to, it felt nice to be given that responsibility,” she said. “It seems like there are a lot of young people involved in a lot of the work. It was exciting to see young people caring about making environmental issues known and being advocates for that.”