Jocelyn Hsu, pursuing her BA in Public Health at UC Berkeley, projected Class of 2017.
GLIDE’s Emerging Leaders Internship program is unlike any other. It’s hard to explain to people, and even after you explain, they don’t quite get it. It’s an experience of a lifetime. It’s transformative. It’s eye-opening. It’s messy. It’s honest. It’s GLIDE.
After four weeks here, I’ve realized a lot about myself, my peers, and the program. As I continue my internship, I’m sure I’ll learn even more. But for now, here are three things I’ve discovered about GLIDE during my time here.
- GLIDE is an organized chaos.
There are so many components to GLIDE from the Meals to HIV/Hep C Prevention to Recovery Circle to Celebration to Fund Development that it’s natural for the organization to be a little chaotic. But, as a person who likes structure, it took some adjusting to. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of who’s doing what because there’s a lot going on, but at the end of the day, everything works out beautifully.
- GLIDE has a rich history.
GLIDE Memorial Church was erected in 1930 by Lizzie Glide, at the same time as the GLIDE Foundation was established. The church is dedicated to Lizzie’s husband and was built to fulfill her vision of a church in the heart of San Francisco. In addition to creating a religious space, Lizzie wanted to help women, so she built a boarding house, The Mary Elizabeth Inn, and dormitories for UC Berkeley and Asbury College. More than 50 years ago, Janice Mirikitani and Cecil Williams, GLIDE’s co-founders, expanded GLIDE’s charter to serve the local community in an all-inclusive fashion.
- GLIDE is the people.
The story of GLIDE is found in the story of its employees and clients. Oftentimes, employees and clients are one in the same since many GLIDE staff members started as clients. You can read about GLIDE all you want, but you won’t truly understand the essence of GLIDE until you meet the folks at GLIDE. The people and their stories of recovery, resilience, inclusivity, and love are what make GLIDE such a unique place.
Come to GLIDE one day, whether for a tour, to volunteer, or to attend celebration. It will be an experience unlike any other. You will leave with questions, but they’ll be good ones, questions that help you learn more about yourself and the society in which you live. As someone said to the 2015 Emerging Leaders, “GLIDE will change you, if you let it.”