Sophie's time at Pine Street Inn included a range of tasks and special projects where she was able to aid Boston's marginalized community
Co-op Term: Spring 2023
Position: Workforce Development Administrative Assistant
Employer: Pine Street Inn
Sophie worked with the Volunteers Department during her co-op at Pine Street Inn. This fell under the Development and Advancement Department, which focuses on fundraising and donor engagement. Her daily tasks consisted of responding to emails and phone inquiries about volunteer opportunities. She also worked closely with donations. She examined what donations were needed, organized them within the office, notified housing staff about donations so that goods could be received by Pine Street’s clients. Sophie also gave tours of the facility to volunteers and donors. In terms of planning for Pine Street she confirmed volunteer schedules and recorded them in the database. Additionally she helped set-up special events, directed and greeted volunteers upon arrival.
Outside of her daily tasks Sophie also worked on numerous special projects where she was able to develop new skills. She was tasked with developing, organizing, and sharing a new database called VolunteerHub. It was going to be used to better track volunteers for fiscal reports, legal proceedings, and overall volunteer statistics. She needed to learn how to use it from the administrator and the volunteer’s perspective. It required strenuous programming and troubleshooting, but she became very excited about sharing this with volunteers. Sophie encountered dozens of issues and it was an extremely challenging start-up. Although, she did not have enough time in her co-op to resolve every volunteer issue, she was able to make a headway which left the next co-op in a good position.
Pine Street was very focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among both staff and guests. Although social inequality may have exacerbated guests’ situations and caused them to experience homelessness, Pine Street made an effort to promote equity within the organization itself. After spending a considerable amount of time at Pine Street, Sophie learned more about the backgrounds and upbringings of guests. She also found that a significant portion of the guests were brought up in low income households, part of the foster care system, or struggled with mental illness or substance abuse. These social inequalities likely played a large part in how they may have ended up homeless. However Pine Street Inn strives to help individuals after they have become homeless.
Sophie stated how she genuinely loved working at Pine Street and would be very happy to work a similar job in the future. She feels confident that she would want to continue working in the nonprofit sector.