Washington D.C. internship combines soccer, poetry and service for Fabien Celestin ’17

Posted by Centre News in Internships, News 27 Mar 2015

Fabien Celestin ’17 heads out the door of his apartment, walks down to the metro, takes it two stops, hops off and makes his way to a local bagel shop to grab breakfast on the go.

He picks up a newspaper and takes in a quick view of the White House as he continues his morning commute to his internship site.

Celestin is interning in Washington, D.C. this spring with America Scores, a national nonprofit with multiple branches across the country that combines soccer, poetry and service-learning for young students.

“This is my first internship, my first time living in the city on my own,” Celestin said. “I get to work with kids ranging from 8-14 years old and the adults who care for them.

“We coach soccer and teach poetry in 47 Washington schools, serving 1,500 low-income youth,” Celestin continued.

The internship with America Scores, which is called DC Scores in Washington, D.C., was a natural fit for Celestin, who is a member of Centre’s soccer team and a Resident Assistant.

“I chose DC Scores because it encompasses many of my interests,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed learning about sports and health, education policy and working with kids. I chose to work for a cause that I care about with an organization I respect.”

Celestin is one of 49 Centre students with an academic internship this semester, a record number for the spring and fall terms. His experience is also part of the College’s study-away program, which intentionally includes internship opportunities combined with a course of academic study in either Chicago or Washington, D.C.

“Being a liberal arts college, Centre prepared me well for the rigors of the office environment but also for the challenge of relating and interacting with people of vastly different social groups,” Celestin said.

“The well-rounded education and emphasis on open-mindedness that Centre provides really has helped immensely over my time at DC Scores,” he continued.

Celestin is learning a lot from this six-credit academic internship, especially when it comes to everyday work skills that don’t lean on academics.

“I’m gaining a lot of interpersonal skills,” Celestin said. “The persona one uses to handle a group of 30 elementary school children in a class differs largely from the persona you need to coach 30 middle school soccer players—and both of these personas differ even more from the persona you use to conduct yourself in a room full of donors.

“Learning to be flexible and to relate to people in any context has been the greatest learning experience for me so far,” he added.

While Celestin isn’t sure yet what his career path might be, he recognizes that he is making excellent connections in Washington, D.C. that could lead to future opportunities.

“For me, DC Scores was not about finding a career opportunity,” Celestin explained. “With that said, the organization has tons of connections and the people here have proved invaluable in my process of finding internship opportunities for the summer, prospects that include Congress and a couple of think tanks.”

Learn more about academic internships at Centre.

Learn more about study away programs at Centre.

by Anne Evans

Photo: Fabien Celestin ’17 (back row, fourth from left) with students from the DC Scores program in Washington, D.C.

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