Early on in our marriage Dave and I were inspired by a parenting idea from his brother and sis-in-law.  (Well, we were inspired by a lot of their ideas…they are pretty great, intentional parents.)

They were a few years ahead of us in the parenting arena, and had decided to create an experience for their kids the summer after their junior year…some kind of internship that would help broaden their horizons.

Dave and I took that idea into our hearts and mulled it around for years.  And we liked it.

Any time before that summer after their junior year would be too early, and after their senior year would be too unpredictable with college and jobs and a crazy mother trying to hold on to them too tight 🙂

This whole scenario was easy with Max.  We had that automatic “in” with Dave’s business in China.  Dave’s business partner was such a perfect boss, and his family was nothing short of saints to take that huge child of ours under their wing and let him live with them for a month.  Remember this picture?

He learned so much doing his internship there.  In fact, he wrote one of his college essays on that experience.  Maybe that was what got him into BYU 🙂  You never know!  More about his experience last summer HERE.

The only problem I see with having kids 14 months apart is that that next one comes right along so quick on big milestones like this that sometimes you don’t know what hit you.  (Ok, there are a few other problems, like having two babies in different stages for so long, but in hindsight I’d take that any day to get kids close together.)

The whole summer-abroad-after-junior-year gets a little trickier with Elle.  First of all she’s a girl which shouldn’t but sometimes does make us feel more protective, and second she’s already had a great experience in China.  Sure we could send her over there again, there are never-ending things to learn in China.  But we’d love for her to expand her horizons to a different spot in the world if we can figure out how to make it happen.  We’ve always kind of thought France would be a pretty cool place for her to go.  I mean, she took two years of French in junior high so we were pretty sure that would assist her to find her way around France just fine.  Ha!  She actually promptly forgot anything she learned but she’d pick at least part of that up again if she lived there, right?

But then we started thinking maybe England would be smarter.  I mean, we have more connections in England and she actually does speak the language.

And then we started thinking maybe even New York City would be a pretty amazing “foreign” experience for this little desert girl of ours.

I have put out a lot of feelers to try to figure out a great fit for her.  We have a few great leads, a place she could possibly stay in France, and one in England too, and some possibilities in NYC, but still working on what she could actually do there.  She is so great at photography, and would love to learn more by working hard in some type of internship with that, but also loves fashion and design, and at this point she’d love to do any kind of job.  It would be great for her to learn about finance, architecture, cooking, you name it, we’re just looking for a unique growing experience that will help her stretch her horizons.  We are trying to work out something for about a month this summer.  I realize that’s a short amount of time, but they’re making us crazy making our summers so darn short over here in the desert that that’s all the time we can squeeze out.

Soooo, in Dave and my discussion yesterday we thought maybe it would be good to put this idea out to the blog world.

Of course, we’d have to do a whole slew of background checking and fine-tooth comb examining the possibilities before we send her off.  But there’s got to be someone out there with some good connections or who could use the services of a smart, organized, go-getter kind of a girl like Elle this summer.  We are looking specifically for an internship/short-time-job and possibly a place to stay close-by.

She is organized and awesome with kids, loves tennis (I should look into some kind of internship at the French Open or Wimbledon!  hmmmm), could put her good camera to good use, she would love to shadow especially any fashion photographers, but she’d also be pleased as punch to file papers in an office or help nanny kids.

Here’s a little note from her:

Hi this is Elle and I’m so stoked to go somewhere this summer even though it makes me nervous.  I would love love to help with photography somewhere awesome or nanny kids in a city I am not used to.  It will be neat to not only work there but to see and experience the life where ever it ends up being.   I have had three years experience photographing families and kids (see my mom’s posts HERE and HERE for examples of some of my photography).  I have a Canon 6D that I have saved up to buy and would love to put to use, either photographing “a day in the life” of the family I end up staying with or shadowing a photographer (I am so interested in fashion photography).  I also love videography.  

NYC from elle pothier. on Vimeo.

But like my Mom said, I would learn a lot from anything, not just something photography related.

I am willing to work my hardest and learn everything I can.  I’m just excited to have a different experience in a different place.

Let us know if anyone has any advice or leads for us at sepphotography at gmail dot com.

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  1. Hi Shawni! I wonder in Elle could intern with Joanna Goddard in NYC?! She has a wonderful lifestyle blog (Cup of Jo) all about fashion + motherhood + fun, she has two darling boys + a sweet husband, they live in a great Brooklyn neighborhood, and she recently posted that they're looking for a summer intern! Even if Elle can't fill that spot, I bet they'd love her help with babysitting and other fun blog related activities. Jo seems like a really great gal + so does Elle…it could be a perfect match!

    Good luck finding a great place for Elle! I love France + England + NYC 🙂


  2. My daughter, the same age as Elle, has really enjoyed her two summer internships at biology labs at our local university. This summer she will be doing a 7-week Girls Who Code camp at a nearby tech company that she's really excited about. I think internships are a great way to experience the "working world" without having to make a huge commitment. Good luck!

  3. DC could be another great place to intern! How wonderful to be so close to the federal government and get a taste of the complexity of government. I think an internship with a blogger would be redundant.

  4. Find her something in Ann Arbor, MI so that she can come live with my family and help out with our 2-year-old and new baby due in June! She can do our newborn photos 🙂 Gosh, I would take that girl in a heartbeat. I wish I lived somewhere more enticing.

    1. If she would seriously be interested in living with a loving family of four in Michigan, nannying, and taking photographs of a lot of young families (and maybe even weddings on the weekend), let me know. I'm sure I could find her an internship in photography, food or finance with the connections I have and I would certainly give her lots of experience with mothering a young family and running a household. We also love to cook from scratch and could make that a daily task.

  5. What about a language study abroad program? They usually run about 4 weeks and she could strengthen her french or begin an entirely new language. We live in Montreal, and I am pretty sure that there are 4 week programs here and in french. She can also go tracting with the sister missionaries! They have the programs throughout Europe as well but the application process might be a little bit longer. I studied language when we lived in Europe, but as we already lived there, I am not sure the application time frame from residing else where. I think it would be simpler and quicker to get something across the border or in the US.

    There are also farmstay programs here where she could spend upwards of 4 weeks working on a farm.

  6. If you want to look at Montreal, I am happy to see what I can find out. Feel free to email me
    labellastudios101 at gmail dot com

    Otherwise, I highly encourage somewhere with a different language. Jumping into Germany in a little village where no one spoke English was sure a quick way for me to learn the language and figure out how to deal with shyness.

  7. I hope this doesn't come across too harshly, but I found my greatest pride in finding my jobs and internships through research, reaching out to all of my family/friends, and going to companies to tour the facility, and ask questions on what I could do to get hired – on my own. Even at Elle's age, I think she would do great seeking this opportunity through hard work. I found a few dud jobs, of course, but hard work led me to a great career at an advertising agency. Every internship, job, and dud of a job I found fully on my own, through research and of course support from my parents when I asked them questions.

    Then truly just as someone who could hire, make sure Elle speaks in a professional manner right from the start. Even if it's a babysitting or nannying job. I have an almost 2 year old daughter, and I have turned down sitters after finding them on social media and seeing how they spoke, or what they did in their free time. I'm almost more critical of who I hire to watch my daughter than who I will hire at our agency, because my daughter is at such a young age that she soaks up everything a person says and does.

    I live in the midwest so I can't be of much help, but truly Elle seems like a bright and talented girl, I think she would find great pride in fully doing this on her own. I know how busy it can be at this time of her life, but I also know it can be done. Best of luck!

  8. Absolutely right. My son is 21 and I still feel the need to jump in and "help" him with things that I know darn well he can and should do himself. I have to work very hard to not be a helicopter Mom – one who hovers – you should too. Things mean so much to kids when they do them on their own

  9. If she's interested in fashion, design, and photography – New York City sounds like a perfect place. What an adventure to live in such a fast paced place with such a mixture of different people and cultures. Not sure who she could in touch with there, but that idea stood out to me!

    Of course, when I read that she likes to nanny and watch kids, naturally my ears perked up – she could come nanny my kids!:) We are outside of DC in Northern Virginia, an LDS family with 3 incredibly adorable children (one who has special needs) – that may not be exotic enough, but how wonderful for me:) Actually though, if this was last summer when my husband was in Afghanistan, I'd be BEGGING for her to come nanny! Good luck in finding a good fit!

  10. I have two possible contacts in the NYC area. One is my cousin, who edits and produces film, and the other is my DIL's brother, who is a wedding photographer. Email me and I'll see what I can find out. They are both very talented. zack6mom at aol dot com

  11. Every LDS family in every city or town has lots of kids to nanny. I guess what I don't get is – why intern in any profession – her career choice (either her own or made for her) is to marry and have kids. The nanny idea is spot on to prepare her for her fate

    1. I think Elle should work & live with a non-LDS family.

      There's nothing wrong with non-lds families & Elle could learn from them.

      As an lds myself I've never understood the emphasis on mixing with other lds families & friends.

    2. Her "fate"? Why do you feel the need to be so resentful and unkind towards, first of all, a family who you do not know….and second, women who choose to be stay-at-home-parents? For your information, not all LDS women get married and have children right away, nor do they all stay home. And there is nothing wrong with any of that if they do! I am LDS, am nearly finished with my undergrad, and am planning on getting my MSW and LCSW afterwards. I have plenty of goals…..getting married and having children are only two of them. Check yourself, please.

    3. I am an LDS stay at home Mom of 5 kids. I have a bachelors degree and have had many wonderful experiences before and during Motherhood. All have contributed to teaching my children and enriching all of our lives. Saying that experiences and education are wasted because women choose motherhood as a career is narrow minded and silly. My children see me continuing to learn and seeking out experiences and that is great for them to see and only adds to our family life. Yes, I am a stay at home Mom, but it wasn't simply my "fate", I deliberately chose to do so because it is what I felt was best for me and my family. Now that my children are a bit older and will all be in school I have ambitions and goals that will utilize my degree and I cannot wait. I will still be there for my children because that is my most important career but I have many other interests and talents that I have discovered during my time with my young children, now I'm ready to seek them out and use them more. I have sisters and friends that have chosen to work as well, everyone has a different path as an lds woman.

  12. Sounds like some fun and great opportunities are coming her way. That said, there is something to be said for having a mundane summer job experience. Growing up, summertime for us meant either working full time locally or working full time on the farm. I was lucky enough to find a job in an air conditioned lab. I worked 8-5, five days a week. At the time, I was a bit cranky and resentful that all my other friends got to sleep in, go to different sports camps and generally hang out. I had to balance my time, work out vacation schedules and sometimes miss out on fun things. BUT, I had my OWN money, school mornings were not such a huge adjustment for me, I met other people outside of my own social group, I learned about sacrifice first hand, and I truly could appreciate all the work my own parents did knowing that they did this year round, year after year. When it came time to apply for college, I had something beyond school extracurriculars and letters of recommendations from people other than teachers and coaches.

    I have worked in both the admissions and registrar's office and know job experience on a resume can really help an applicant.

    I also think there is plenty of time for Elle to have the type of experience you are looking for while in college – semester abroad, internships, spring break trips, etc. Plus, she will be older and wiser and may get more out of the experience overall. Sometimes I think as parents we are so excited and want to give our kids the world that we don't think or realize the potential harm in experiencing too much too soon.

  13. I think you are a wonderful mother! Most kids need a push to get out of their comfort zone and I am impressed with the way you are helping them gain the confidence and tools to succeed in life. We are an Idaho farm and ranch family so unless she wants to photograph some ranch hands in wranglers, I got nothing! Ha!

  14. Internship means free or under minimum wage. I think it's one thing if it's a family business. Labor laws allows more flexibility in having your children work for you when it comes to age and income. But a nonfamily member is a whole other issue. Being business owners you would know more than me. It just seems something to be cautious of.

    Are there not fast food jobs in AZ? Life guarding? Pizza places? Target stores? Typical jobs working for a w2 for strangers having to interact with coworkers who are not aware of their connections to the boss? Might be good incentive to find a career they love and worked toward getting the qualifications for that job so they are not working for minimum wage doing something they hate their entire life.

    I would not send a blond 17 year old girl to work in China for the summer. Good call.

    1. Internship does not necessarily mean free or under minimum wage. I had a great internship during college in which I was paid over $21/hour. Yes, many internships can be unpaid, but not all of them are.

    2. $21 for a high school graduate! Yikes. That is almost triple minimum wage. What were you doing? Was it part of a work study situation with few hours meant to make the school look attractive financially? Many are just a few hundred dollar stipend meant to cover transportation costs too and from the workplace. She is 16. No high school diploma. This if the first year she is allowed to "work" besides providing services to individual people/families like babysitting, washing cars, mowing lawns and such.

    3. @KMS – I work at a financial software firm in NYC, and our interns are paid well over $20 an hour and have a great experience and fun summer. Most banks and financial firms pay VERY well for interns. I find that fashion & publishing do not and expect free labor.

  15. Ok – another question. Why do all these LDS women need nannies when they don't work outside the home?

    1. Though your posts have come off rude I wanted to say I am a stay at home mom. I left a good job to be so. I have never been busier. Between taking care of our home, children, school responsibilities, church and community responsibilities, some people need extra help.. just because we might be 'stay at home' mom's.. does not mean we 'stay at home ' eating Bon bons all day!!!

    2. My heart bleeds for you. After my 40+ hours a week job and also doing all the things you mention – I'll feel sorry for you.

  16. LDS SAHMs need nannies the same way other SAHM moms need nannies! If you have a lot of kids and can afford it, the extra help is nice! At least one respondent mentioned her husband was in the military so there is that as well. Is that really so unusual? It isn't something *I* could afford but if I could it would be awesome. 🙂

  17. Shawni, what is the real aim of the internship? It seems that the perfect experience for her would depend on what is really trying to be accomplished. There is the whole "travel and experience new things aspect" for sure and undeniably an exotic location would be the best fit. Or there's the "getting my feet wet in a possible career avenue" aspect and for that New York (or LA) might really fit the bill. I'm wondering (based on the timing) if this isn't a little bit to do with "padding the college resume" which is NOT A BAD THING (I might copy you on it!). But in that case, something really different would help Elle stand out in her applications. You mentioned safety too and that does need to be considered. Finally, some responses have mentioned a good old summer job. I do think that teaches good lessons about working hard and frugality and "the real world" so to speak. I don't know but it would seem that you do a pretty good job of teaching those things at home. I know Max already had a summer job (no?) so maybe Elle has done that as well? I do see the value there, but I don't think that is quite the same thing as what you are looking for. Will you clarify?

  18. Farming could be something very different, and she would learn about where our food comes from and work hard too! You could certainly find a month-long farm experience through WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms): http://www.wwoof.net

    I know folks that traveled around Europe "Woofing," but she could certainly stay in one place too.

  19. I don't know why my comment didn't post but I'm trying again.
    When I was 15 (I'm 22 now) I spend three weeks during summer at a French camp in the South of France. I lived with students from all over the world, ages 14-17, and had the time of my life.
    I've later done internships (during summer in college) and I think I've learned so much more being a little older than I would have at age 15/16.
    What French camp gave me instead was an understanding of different cultures (I know you guys had China but I still think this could be a huge experience). It matured me in so many ways to travel ALL BY MYSELF to a different country where I barely knew the language, was forced to make friends with strangers form all over the world and take care of everything on my own, from finances (OK shopping and buying for treats and stuff but STILL), to doing my laundry, keeping track of important papers, passport, flight times etc. It doesn't seem like a lot when I mention it here, because I'm older now (and wiser, ha!) but it was a huge deal back then. I still remember how I walked out of the airport when my parents picked me up, my head held high – I was so proud that I actually had the courage to do it and it gave me a confidence in myself and my abilities that I've never forgotten. I've done a semester abroad in college and I'm doing summer school abroad this summer. I feel like a citizen of the world today, and I'm sure I got the courage to do all of these things from those three weeks in France.
    I've visited friends all over Europe and the US that I met during my three weeks. I still talk to some of the people and it's so rewarding to have friends from all over the world. I improved my French a ton. I learned how to navigate in a new country with so many different cultures to take into account (Spanish, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, British, Turkish etc.).
    We usually had classes until noon and then had the afternoon off. Often they had planned activities – sports, beach parties, sailing, bbq, art etc. We all lived in dorms at the school, food was served there, adults were present at all times. We were free to go to the beach and the city during afternoons but had a 7 pm curfew (with activities planned during the night, it was never an issue really). In general it was VERY safe, there was a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and drugs of all kinds and I never experienced any of it. Two nights a week we had field trips to other beach towns where we'd hang out, play arcade games, get ice-cream and practice our French. The adults made sure everyone was safe and we were always home by 11 pm. So yeah, in general a great environment for teenagers.
    I honestly had the time of my life. It was hard but the good kind of hard and I came back different.
    I know you guys are looking for internships but she'll have so much time for that during summer in college (we get so much time off!). You don't meet a lot of other 16-year-olds during internships and I honestly think any teenager would gain so much from going abroad for a few weeks on their own. I'm sure you can find sports camps where they'll have tennis lessons or maybe even somewhere she can combine her love for photography and fashion with French lessons (maybe in Paris?).
    Just wanted to share my experience with you and let you know of your options. I see that a lot of the comments here were made my moms and I figured you could also use some advice from someone currently in college 🙂
    I travelled with Centre d'Antibes. I don't know if they've changed their programs since back then but I can definitely recommend them: http://www.cia-france.com/

    1. Oh that reminds me…the school at which I studied abroad, College Internationale de Cannes in Cannes, France, allows high schoolers to come, and they're very reasonably priced and flexible with timing etc. All students live on campus in a wonderful villa. There were some high school students when I was there. Great experience, and Elle could brush up on her French!

  20. I wish we lived somewhere fun and exotic that might peak her interest. 🙂 But we're just in the plain ole Deep South. I would snatch her up to "nanny" and I am all about cooking. My husband and I are also introducing summer goals to our kiddos this summer and she would be a wealth of knowledge about that! I also have a friend that is a photographer who I'm sure would adore her help for a month. We're not LDS, but one of my husband's mangers is. 🙂

    Good luck finding something. I think this js a cool idea.

  21. We've sent all our kids away for their last few summers in their HS years. The boys went to work on ranches or farms in Idaho and Arizona. The girls nannied or went to BYU to attend for the summer. It's all part of teens "doing hard things" and preparing for being away from home. Our kids in college say that it surprises them how many of their peers don't know how to solve problems or get answers to prayer. I enjoy your blog!!

  22. great post shawNi, I too would snatch her up to teach my kids how to work lol … but I agree too I think it depends what area she really wants to focus.. is it just life experience in a different country, is it to bulk her collage application, is it to decide on a career choice.. All great ideas but might be easier to narrow.. I say Elle go to London England. it holds my heart lol

  23. SAHMs of any religion do not need a nanny. Please – you chose to stay home with your kids – so do it. How about the local in n out burger joint – work there all summer – slum a bit to see how the rest of the population lives that are not Mormon royalty with the eyre connections. Good luck Elle – you are going to need it. Is mama going to go to college with you and make sure you're doing it right? Take this opportunity to thumb your nose at the eyre privelige and do what YOU want.

    1. Don't you know we are all royalty…mormon or not? You are a daughter of God which makes you one too. He gives us all internships and opportunities catered specifically to us to help us grow. We are all more privleged than we even know.

    2. Don't you know we are all royalty…mormon or not? You are a daughter of God which makes you one too. He gives us all internships and opportunities catered specifically to us to help us grow. We are all more privleged than we even know.

    3. Mama Saurus, I'm sorry that you are obviously hurting and unhappy. I hope that your situation improves. I think that almost without question – only unhappy people want to lash out and hurt others.

    4. Wowsers. Why even bother reading Shawni's blog if this is how you feel?

      Most of us here are moms, even more of us are women, just doing the very best we can. The tongue-lashings are just unnecessary.

    5. I don't care what anyone's religion is, never come against a parent's authority and decisions on how they raise their children. Watch your words, and watch your hate. You're going around sowing a lot of nasty seed.

      You guys are amazing parents, Shawni – keep it up! Don't listen to the enemy trying to distract you from Christ and His purposes for your family!

  24. I would love to have her here in Australia but I'm not quite sure what we can offer her but I am willing to follow through some leads. She is most welcome to stay with us I have a daughter who will be turning 21 this year. Just a thought.

  25. First off…ignore all the rude comments above..geez! Second, I have a few ideas for you! (this could be a long comment, so I'll apologize ahead of time).
    For housing anywhere, I would create an account on Mormon Explorer. It's basically like couchsurfing.com, except for LDS people, where you can find people to stay with when you travel anywhere in the world. When you find an internship but don't know where to have Elle stay, I'd have you guys check that and message some of the people there to see if she could stay with them. A month isn't very long and I'm sure many people would be willing to take her in.

    If she wants to nanny somewhere, check care.com. It's a great nanny website (I think only for the US) and you can put in the location and see what comes up. This is better for short-term options. I know a lot of nanny websites require a year commitment which would obviously be too long. I've found a few jobs from here and it's been great!

    I also do a lot with fashion and I'm looking to go into fashion design so I have some experience with that. I interned with Anthropologie about 3 years ago in Massachusetts and it was such a great experience! I love that company. They need interns at all their stores, so she could easily do that in New York or possibly somewhere international. Just check the careers page on their website. I think it was around this time I was looking for and securing an internship. I think they do it for school credit though, so you'd have to figure that out. Freefashioninternships.com is also a GREAT resource for really great fashion internships in every area of fashion, probably even photography. Definitely check that out! One more option (and I realize this would be during school so I don't know if it'd work) is that New York Fashion Week is in September and they always need a ton of interns and volunteers. I've been wanting to do it for years and I'm finally going to do it this September, which I'm really excited about. It would be a sweet experience, though it would only last about 1-2 weeks. I'd probably start check for that around July (on both the fashion internships website I gave or on the Mercedes Benz FW website).

    One more thing about finding a place to stay, is that staying with family is a great option. I did that when I did my internship in Massachusetts, and it was a great way to get the experience but still be safe and have someone to show me around. Just a thought and something to keep in mind!

    Email me if you have any more questions about the stuff above, and I'd love to answer! My email is kikicbrownee at gmail dot com and you can also see my blog at peach-lemonade.blogspot.com. Good luck!

  26. Hi Shawni,

    Have you considered an internship with LoveTaza/Naomi blog? They are LDS, have 3 kids, live in NYC, blog for a living, have fashion partnerships and travel. Perhaps they could use someone?

    If my memory serves me correctly you may have even mentioned knowing her in a post long, long ago?

    Brilliant idea- you are a wonderful mother.


  27. Wimbledon Tennis has temp jobs every year. They're not likely to be THAT interesting tbh, mostly waiting tables or guiding people round the ground, selling programmes – that kind of thing. But they'd get her inside the ground and interacting with people etc. Wimbledon is a lovely place to be and near to central London which obviously has all the attractions she could want. I live about 4 miles away, happy to help if she ends up here! http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/jobs/index.html

  28. Hi Shawni, You may or may not have considered HEFY I would suggest Elle look into it. The past 2-3 years we have had Young Women participate in HEFY. They have shared their amazing experiences with us. One of the girls went when she was Elle age loved it so much she signed up the following year (summer before heading to college) only this time she took her dad along to help construct a school house. Humanitarian EFY has 7-8 countries to choose from their moto: change lives through service. They build school classrooms, medical clinics etc. They are able to embrace the culture. Saturdays they sight see. view video: https://www.hefy.org/index.php/about-hefy/209-a-day-with-hefy
    I'm sure whatever Elle dose she will have a great experience and be an asset there.
    Best of luck, Kathy Mc

  29. Hi shawni & Elle! I'm Anna, I'm 17 (Elle's year at school) and I live in Manchester, England. I've read your blog for ages (love reading about your sweet family/amazing adventures) but I've never commented. Had to comment on this though!!! I go to a private school in Cheshire, a beautiful county just south of the city, and I mention that it's private because some of my friends parents work at really prestigious design firms/architects/advertising agencies etc, and I could definitely find someone who would take Elle on for a month or so!! Most of them have offices/studios in Manchester, which is an interesting city in itself (I live about 5 mins away by train, 20 mins by bus/tram). I also have a friend who just got her photography degree at Brighton university so I could definitely ask her if she knows of any photographers up north who Elle could work with/shadow. A lot of people here are commenting about Elle staying with someone who's LDS, and I'm not LDS, but I am a Christian. My mum is actually a vicar in the Church of England, so we livd in a big old vicarage haha. I've been baptised/confirmed in the Protestant church. It may be interesting for Elle to see how another branch of Christianity operates?? Maybe.

    I've always thought that me and Elle would get on like a house on fire cos we have such similar interests. I love art, photography (and anything design related), fashion, travelling and learning languages (I study Spanish at school). This summer I'm actually coming out to the US at the end of July to do summer seminars at SCAD in photography, interior design, fashion and architecture.

    Also, I went to a summer course in London last year and know the city pretty well, so id love to show Elle around. It's only 2 hours by train from Manchester so it makes a great weekend trip.

    Anyway, let me know if you're interested in spending some time in England this summer (should probably let you know now that the weathers not quite like Arizona…..haha). My emails annachip103@gmail.com so just send me a message or something!

    (Sorry this comment is about 5 pages long, I have a tendency to ramble…)


  30. Why does a 16 year old need to find a job in another state or country? How do you get another country to permit your minor child to enter the country and hold a job there a short period of time legally? How can they clear a profit when there is travel and food and lodging to consider?

    I'm sure all the kids will grow up to vote, earn a living, attend school after high school graduation and pay taxes even if they do not do this.

  31. This is not an internship, but my daughter went earlier this year to Peru to volunteer in an orphanage. She went through Volunteers HQ check them out, they have volunteer programs like these throughout the world. She learned so much and absolutely loved it. She is now looking into going to Nepal to do the same thing. Maybe Elle could go with her, then neither would be alone and they would have someone with them with the same values. Volunteers HQ is not LDS based, but still a great experience. The orphanage in Nepal, I believe is run by an LDS woman. If you would like any info on this email me at tiffanydanceco06@gmail.com

  32. I'm not sure my post came through. Anyway, I was reading your post and even before reading you were looking for a place I was thinking "I wouldn't mind hosting a girl like Elle". I live in Belgium and I've been considering hosting some kind of au pair girl sometime in the future as I think it would be a great experience for my baby boy. If you would consider this you can Always email me, either for a longer stay or just a quick visit if you decide on France or England. I'm an Occupational therapist and teach hippotherapy, my husband is self employed. We know plenty of photographers, or other people. We speak Dutch but most people here in Belgium speak either French or English.

    Feel free to contact me by email if you are interested at all, or if you just want any other information! I hope you find the perfect place for Elle to have a great summer experience (and I do support your choices, but I guess you are used to the rude comments!)

  33. You have such a beautiful, radiant, amazing family! Your daughter would do an incredible job wherever she goes. I just had to say that some of the comments on here could totally be classified as "cyber-bullying". If you ever want to start comment moderation or start deleting insulting comments, you would totally be justified!! You do not deserve to be given crap by anonymous naysayers. You are doing an amazing job! No doubt about it! Your responses to such people have always been so thoughtful and classy and kind, but I would hate for your kids to read these idiotic and judgmental comments. No reason they need any of it! Sending you all the best. Thank you for the messages you put out into the world! Your whole family is awesome

  34. My sister in law worked at some fancy pants tennis club in NYC one summer and loved her experience there! I don't know to much info. But could find out if interested!

  35. Hope this isn't posting twice. I live in Manhattan. NYU and The New School have summer programs for high school students. The New School has a great photography program. I believe students can live in dorms (so it is safe). Both are in Greenwich Village so great location. Columbia probably has similar programs as well. I would love to hire Elle for a family photo shoot if she comes to NYC.

    PS Not sure why people feel they have to criticize your choices. There are many ways for high school students to gain life experiences at home or by living somewhere else. I f your daughter has the opportunity to travel to gain some life/work experiences and wants to do so that is great! I hope you can ignore the naysayers. Love your blog!.

    1. Starting two summers age she has spent time in India, Mexico, New York, Idaho, Utah, California, China, cross country on a church history tour from IL through NY including several states, and some south east coast state I'm completely blocking. All under the umbrella of making sure they are well rounded and travelled. They are travelled. I would like to encourage her she has made her kids well travelled. Her kids are occupied in activities both school and church. They are not lazy kids. A job local or a summer class somewhere would be fine. It's just a little over the top to send a 16 year old to another place to work.

    2. Of course it's not my kid. She can parent her child. She can parent even if others are scratching their head at this. She does not bow to peer pressure. She is a grown up.

    1. I suspect she is here posting under a different name.

      You must cry rainbows instead of tears if my comment that the kids are doing fine and all are well travelled is considered negative. Being concerned about immigration issues is being practical not negative. If they go to another country to work but the are in the country on a travel VISA and the government finds out what do you think is going to happen? Especially if that country considers 16 adult. What happens here when there is a 16 year old on a tourist VISA caught working instead? Don't you know bad things can happen to well meaning people?

      She may delete away any comment she does not like. She may turn down any offer of help, she may ignore any comments thinking the plan is unnecessary. Why are people so upset about someone not in love with the idea? You may feel it's fabulous and so can she. Everyone doesn't think the same way.

  36. My friend's family did this and I always thought it was so neat. Her family actually sent their kids to volunteer in orphanages in Romania… just an idea. Good luck!

  37. My God – get her into modelling – stat. Tell her to stand straight and be confident and she will be a star. From there she can learn about fashion, photography, marketing and travel the world.

  38. @JLH: I disagree with the "jumping into a little German village-idea". First of all I (as a German) don't believe that there is a German village where no one speaks any English. It might be that you have to really push us to speak English, but we do more or less (sometimes less). But then there is no way that an average person (which I don't mean disrespectful!) can learn German in a month. So to go somewhere where you can't communicate well or at all, would result into loneliness.

    @Mama Saurus: How a SAHM fills her time (whether she is really busy with her children or she takes a nanny to eat bon bons all day long) is up to her and her partner. With all due respect, it's none of your business and as a woman who works 40+ hours without a child I think your comments are very judgemental.

    @Shawni: I think that's a great idea! Of course your children can intern while college, but an internship now will help them to determine what they want to do in college. I also understand the feeling "which it shouldn't but sometimes makes us feel more protective".
    I don't have a position I can offer, but some advice:
    1. As for the country to intern, have you discussed this with Elle? Her opinion should matter most, because she has to live there for a month. I also think that it doesn't have to be a country far away. The US is so big, it can't be the same everywhere. Besides Elle can learn to be on her own etc. in NY as well.
    2. I agree with jolie fleur that you need to answer the question first whether the goal is experiencing a different culture or get some professional experience. If it's the latter I would discourage nannying and really go after photography.
    3. I think KMS has a good point when she asks about visas in different countries. I know for example that Elle could come to Germany with a tourists visa, but she will hardly get a visa which allows her to work here.
    4. Do some serious background checks, even if it's LDS families.

  39. My daughter went to Quito Ecuador for a summer to volunteer in an orphanage with an organization called OSSO. They are out of Rexburg Idaho. Amazing experience.

  40. We're an LDS family with four kids in Sydney, Australia. If you're keen we own a flower shop and do lots of our own photo work for the web and social media. Elle would be welcome in our family, at church and at the flower markets, florist or photographing the flowers for website etc. carliajeffrey at hotmail.com
    Sydney is a great city to explore too.

  41. Jessica Newby, our family just stayed in the facility built by Vivant in Tijuana, Mexico when we volunteered with Spark of Hope Foundation to help build a house for a family living in poverty. We were so very grateful for that facility having been built last year or maybe 2 years ago!

    Our family is heavily involved with a Canadian organization called Free The Children. We've traveled to Kenya with them, one of our sons is working on becoming a facilitator with them for their summer youth trips & our youngest daughter is looking into taking one of those summer youth service trips this summer. They're an amazing organization. Everything is extremely top notch! They have youth trips in several countries around the world. If you've heard of We Day through MetoWe.com, this is that organization.

    We live in Seattle & have followed your blog for years. We own an advertising/design/marketing agency called Tether. My husband runs it & we've had many interns over the years. Elle would be more than welcome to stay with us! We have 3 kids still at home, mostly our 2 youngest daughters, who are 16 & 13. Our 16 yr. old & I are doing a HEFY trip in Aug. Our boys both did trips on their own while in high school with an organization called PeopletoPeople. They went to India, Vietnam & Cambodia, Fiji, New Zealand & Australia. Elle could split her month between Seattle & Montana where our oldest daughter lives with her husband & 3 little ones. They live in a small town that includes many Amish families as well as German Baptists, all while being on a Native American reservation.

    Just some ideas. We do have a great contact in NYC, too. A man who founded and runs a Mormon art group. BTW, about a year ago, I'd sent you a photo of your family on a placard outside a ward building in Arhus, Denmark. I'm not sure if you remember that. I'd mentioned that our family used to live there 10 years ago & we'd taken our kids back to visit. Now we have a son serving a mission in Sweden! Good luck to you & Elle! It's crazy trying to figure all this good stuff out, but so very worth it! We just had an incredible reminder of that over spring break while working in Tijuana together.

  42. Hi, my cousin is a loyal follower of your blog and just sent me this post. I'm running a city guide for fashion shopping (http://myshoppingspy.com) in London, Paris and New York and am always on the lookout for talented native speakers. We're based in London and I could think of a lot of interesting things that Elle could learn here at Shopping Spy (social media, fashion journalism etc). We could also put her photography skills to good use. Let me know f you'd like to find out more. My email address is Kristina@myshoppingspy.com

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