See this girl right here?

She’s always been the life of the party.

She makes things fun:

She takes herself lightly:

And she knows how to focus and WORK when she puts her mind to it:

And that last one is why I’m here today.

Because that girl up there wants to WORK this summer.

Oh sure, she’ll be working her tail off with volleyball, that’s for sure. This covid-stricken season has been all over the place but still ramping up and I think Nationals will still happen around the 4th of July.

But after that she’s nervously excited for whatever we can work together to figure out for her “Junior-summer-internship.”

You see, years ago we started this tradition of sending our kids away the summer after their junior year. We are big believers in getting kids out of this bubble where we live (oh it’s a GOOD bubble and we love it, but there’s so much growth outside of it!), and it’s been amazing to watch the kids grow.

Max and Grace went to China for their internships. Max, my first kid to leave for that long, was SO hard for his mama…and for him too, learned and grew so much! (Wrote all about that HERE.) And Grace actually did China twice: once HERE and then again HERE…and she also got to do HEFY (HERE), so she pretty much lucked out. All that just kind of fell into place for both of them and they learned and grew so much.

But Elle wanted to branch out and do something different.

So we put the idea out on the blog (with a little note from her too…all that is back HERE), and got some pretty amazing opportunities lined up thanks to wonderful blog readers.

And do you know what? That led to an experience for that girl that she will never forget. And also some forever-friends (for us and for her) who took her under their wing (lots more about that internship HERE).

Claire has had stars in her eyes about doing something similar for her own internship (although I must say she’s getting a little nervous too!).

We have a few leads here and there. But since we were able to find such a great situation from readers here last time, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to throw it out in this corner of the internet as well.

So here we are again.

The problem? Yes, you guessed it, we live in a pandemic stricken world right now, and who knows if there will really be opportunities in the beginning of July. She would so love to spend time in the U.K. like Elle did (or really anywhere in Europe if at all possible, but the U.K. is I think most likely option considering the pandemic, and even that may still be a long shot in July). She really would be so happy in the states as well. I have to hope that some things will open up safely with all the vaccine business going on right now. And I keep feeling this nudge to help this girl go forward with faith.

Of course, we’d have to do a whole slew of background checking and fine-tooth comb examining the possibilities before we’d send her off, on top of covid worries, but we’re putting it out there anyway, crossing our fingers and toes that perhaps something will turn out.

All this makes me realize this girl is going to be riding off into the sunset of high school before we know it.

None of us are ready for that business, it sure doesn’t ever get easier gosh dang it!

A little message from Claire:

Hey this is Claire! I am super nervous but also excited about the possibility of an internship this summer. It will be hard to leave the comfort of my friends and family and go into a whole new different place but I am so excited to experience something new, even for the work that will go a long with it. I don’t really know what I want to do in life yet, I am interested in design, orthodontics or dental hygiene, fashion, film-making, photography…I’m interested in a lot of things! I am willing to do hard work even if it’s just running errands, nannying, cleaning equipment, holding props, or being the “coffee deliverer,” I know I can learn in so many different ways. I hope that whatever I can work out this summer will be a building experience to help me grow, and that I won’t get too homesick!

Hoping there is someone out there with some good connections or who could use the services of a smart, organized, go-getter kind of a girl like Claire this summer. We are looking specifically for an internship/short-time-job and possibly a place to stay close-by.

So if you have any ideas or advice at all, send them on over our way!

We would appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts!

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  1. I was going to say maybe go with Elle !!
    What a great idea and opportunity. Has she had any part time jobs upto this point? I ask because my daughter is on the exact same position , she’s also looking for something but hasn’t had work experience due to her commitment to volleyball & basketball. It’s tricky!

    1. Yes it is super tricky! Volleyball takes up so much of her schedule that jobs other than nannying are hard to fit in.

        1. They aren’t enough places on flights for citizens to come back let alone a young American student whose purpose of visit is a short internship. It’s also mandatory 2 weeks, $3k hotel quarantine on arrival.

    1. Thank you for the idea, we reached out to them just in case. That would be a really great opportunity for Claire to put her knowledge of early childhood education to use (through Joy School from her grandparents, and my brother started this awesome international program to help international kids learn english: You’re right, covid poses some serious questions with all that, dang it! But interesting to look into, thank you!

  2. ” I am interested in design, orthodontics or dental hygiene, fashion, film-making, photography…I’m interested in a lot of things! I am willing to do hard work even if it’s just running errands, nannying, cleaning equipment, holding props, or being the “coffee deliverer,” I know I can learn in so many different ways”

    I am curious as to why Claire has to leave the area to do any of these things. Are there not some opportunities close to home? Why does everything have to be an ordeal? Go to businesses in your home town and see who needs help.

    1. Good question, the idea is so much more than to have a job. The idea is to have an opportunity to stretch away from home and family, outside of her comfort zone. There is so much growing to be done away from family and friends. Yes, she can still learn so much close to home, and with COvid still looming there is a good possibility for that, but being far away from home is part of the whole idea.

    2. Why be so snarky, Maria? Both Shawni and Claire stated the reasons for exploring opportunities outside of where they live. The pandemic makes it trickier for sure, but it’s a great idea and such a nice way to learn independence and learn about the world outside their bubble and comfort. From what I’ve understood, this family also does community/volunteer work in their home town.

      1. Yes, it is a “nice way to learn independence”- for the rich and entitled members of the Eyrealm. For those of us who live everyday lives with our everyday kids…. our kids learn independence by working a summer job at the local library, or at McDonalds or a car wash in our neighborhoods. I cannot believe that I am the only one who thinks it is just a normal thing for normal people to have each kid go on an “internship” during their junior and senior summers. Besides calling it an ‘internship” is ridiculous. An internship – a real one – is an opportunity to work in a field you are considering making your life’s career. (So the nanny position would be great for Claire..) But aren’t there any families nearby who have a lot of kids (duh…) and who’s SAHMs need a nanny so they can… sorry, not sure what they would need a nanny for…..

        1. Besides, wherever she goes, even out of the country, she will no doubt stay with and nanny (or whatever) for an LDS family just like the ones in Gilbert. So tell me again how that is getting out of her bubble …… ?

          1. It is a normal thing for (some) normal people to do. I wasn’t “rich and entitled” growing up and lived in Mexico my senior year as an exchange student. I lived with another family in another city the summer I was 16 as a nanny. Moved clear across the country when I was 18 to be a nanny for another family. All of these experiences got me out of my bubble and I learned a whole lot about myself, as well as other people, religions, and cultures. And I knew several other “normal” people who did these things too. This may not be something you choose to do in your family, but why give Shawni so much grief that they choose to do it in theirs? Not everyone has to do the exact same thing in life.

        2. Wow, Maria – how immature. You are clearly working through some difficult times in your life if you’re treating others like this. Some people have the means to give their children fantastic opportunities – why can’t you be happy for them? If you had the means to send your kid to another state/country for any reason, be it an internship, job, or purely for fun – would you really make them work at the McDonalds down the street? And so what if she works with other LDS families – isn’t that the point of being within a religious community? You should really reconsider how you spend your free time if it consists of making a mother feel guilty for providing for her kids the best way she can.

          1. Actually Shawni said the “point” was to get out of her bubble.. so NO. Living and working with other LDS families defeats her purpose.

        3. In Germany, it is nothing extraordinary to do a student exchange with another European country while in school. My siblings and I did it, at least one cousin, my husband and at least two nieces. And we’re not rich.

          And I know of people who were au pairs in the US between school and university just to experience something new.

          And Claire would still be able to leave her desert bubble, even if she would live with a LDS family.

          1. She isn’t doing a student exchange. Though she did go an international private school in Shanghai already for a while. Which is why it’s so over the top. She isn’t going somewhere to learn but teach or work. The local 20 hour a week grocery store job isn’t going to work with the volleyball schedule. If she left her family to go to a strangers family to be a student in another country it would not be such an odd thing. Although most high schools of 500 kids have only a few official exchange students at a time so it really is also a 1% thing to do in the US. She isn’t 18 so can’t be an au pair.

  3. Why can’t she just wait and do leave home for college or at 18 for the service, mission, etc..? She is already occupied with stuff. Honestly in the bubble you live not doing sports for a year to work in a grocery store where you can’t take off Saturday for the first 6 months you are employed would be out of comfort zone and bubble. Or just do one of the LDS programs/experiences they are selling. Everyone can attend college today. Unless you are in two cities in the US it doesn’t really matter what college you go to as long as it has an accredited program. It’s all about staying out of trouble and test scores/grades. This is kinda like sending a kid to preschool so they won’t cry when they go to kdg. Child is still crying for a time the first couple of days, just younger. Child has already lived in China twice to get out of her comfort zone. This comes off as a little showy and adds pressure for others to do something similar. Only without the network one has with 18 uncles and aunts in multiple states and countries. The kids have had wonderful examples with their siblings and cousins. You are very lucky.

    1. Showy?? Haha! This is her personal blog about her family – what else is she supposed to talk about beyond her and her family’s experiences! Uh…and life isn’t all about test scores and grades. It’s 2021, haven’t we already seen the effects of that on young people? As a millennial, I have felt the brunt of this force – have you? After college, everything is about your career – why can’t a junior in high school live abroad for a summer? As if working at a grocery store non-stop for six months will be her only opportunity to become a valuable member of society. Jeez, you people and your judgments that no one asked for XD

        1. I love the idea of sending your kids off for an internship! I would actually love to hear more about how you and Dave decided to have your kids take on this challenge and how you end up picking the internships to make sure your kids are safe. And do you encourage the internship as an opportunity to save money for a mission/college?

  4. This family thinks work and school must conform to the lifestyle they want. That would be the benefit of working 20 hours a week for a year for a stranger. Honestly millennials stopped entering the work force in their teens, took out a lot of debt in college and are now having trouble. Didn’t you find the whole travel soccer, summer science camp, being occupied every minute a bit much? She is never home for the summer. It’s girls camp for a week and family reunion on one side and ski trip with the other another week and probably a class to take for one summer school session so she can fit in seminary during the school year and perhaps a BYU sport camp/travel schedule for a sport during summer or even an EFY or EFY experience for a week. Her kids have even ditched part of the first week of school to do a BYU sports camp for a week they could not really fit in any other time. They are constantly pulling kids in pairs to do a summer humanitarian vacation. Besides a regular immediate family trip to California or to Utah to see their son play for BYU. Their house is a resort with sport court and pool and indoor gym. Their grandparents are on a lake with water sports they could be there for an entire month if they wanted to. I’m in favor of her NOT scheduling something for 6 weeks. Most kids would be thrilled just to do a BYU camp or EFY or go waterskiing during a family vacation. This family really has no lack of activities and opportunities. What do micromanaged people do when they are finally free of the structure?

  5. Holy cow. I admire you Shawni for continuing to share and post for your readers that enjoy and appreciate what you do and work to give your kids. I think an away summer internship is SO GREAT. The experience of stretching to be away from home. The learning a new skill. Learning to feel grounded in unfamiliar surroundings. Managing a new living situation and forming relationships with new people. So much life lessons learned in doing something like this for your kids. Not everyone can do this and not everyone wants to do this…and surely no one else gets a vote on how YOU do your kids. I bet Claire will find an amazing opportunity. She will be stretched and learn and grow and it will mold her future, just like you are hoping. Some of us walk through life just making it work, and some of us do things in life that are VERY INTENTIONAL. You came from INTENTIONAL parents and you are an intentional one as well. I admire this about you and strive to do this in my own family in the ways I am able.

    Good luck to Claire…despite the trolls, please share what she ends up doing. Local or not =)

  6. I’m in Alaska and I would love for her to come here. I really have nothing to offer of what she is interested in, but being in Alaska for the summer would definitely get her out of her bubble – and I know she would love it. We spend our summers hiking, paddleboarding, and road-tripping (around our work schedules of course). We had a missionary in our home from Gilbert, AZ who told us Alaska is weird- ha! It’s an amazing place for sure.

  7. Hello! We are in Austin, Texas… so not the UK exactly, ha! We are an approved host family in the au pair program (Cultural Care) but our au pair is stuck overseas for a few months awaiting her visa. She could do some nannying for us part-time, but we could also show her our two businesses – my husband is a realtor and I have just started a financial planning and education business a few months ago and we love to share our careers with young people. She would be welcome to learn all about our businesses and we have our au pair room ready to stay in.

    This is my husband:

    And me:

  8. If she is interested in working on a farm, my husbands uncle has a dairy farm in WY and I bet we could hook her up with a job for a month or however long. We could hook her up with a family to stay with too 🙂

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