A Postcard From: Aurielle Hampton ’20

Name: Aurielle Hampton
Class Year: 2020
Major: Sociology

Internship Placement: Galaei
Location: Philadelphia

This summer I am interning at Galaei, a Queer Latinx Social Activist Organization and youth center in Philadelphia.

Most days, I watch the front desk, answer calls and direct people in the center. Since this is a queer center, June is our busiest month for the summer. We started the Month of Gay by attending a flag raising ceremony at City Hall. I watched the pride flag lift up to meet the U.S. flag with Anu, my intern partner, before we had to run back to the car. I also participate in tabling events across the city. My first one was at the LEAD conference at the administration building for the Philly school district. It was so cool to see kids, parents, principals, counselors, other queer organizations, and community members coming together to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community, and to educate each other about better ways to keep these kids safe in school mentally, emotionally, and physically.

The following weekend, I attended my second Pride. I didn’t do anything with my organization since Galaei does not officially support the Pride festivities in this city because of the police involvement. The next weekend I helped one of our testers at the Philly Aids Thrift Store. We do rapid HIV testing and STI testing at three different locations. First at Galaei Monday through Friday. On Tuesday Anu or I go with one of the testers to the Washington West Center in the Gayborhood to do tests there. The third location is the Philly Aids Thrift Store on the second floor. At every location I perform secretarial duties such as answering phones, giving people forms, and making copies for the testers.

The main event of June was the alternative prom. Galaei has hosted the longest-running gay prom. This was the 23rd anniversary and the theme was Purple Rain. I was put in charge of the budget report for prom, picking out decorations, and promoting it on social media. Also, Anu and I went out to organizations around the city such as the Attic and promoted the prom and gave them tickets to sell. The prom was amazing! Half of the tablecloths I ordered didn’t come in and part of my centerpiece also did not, but with the help of everyone, the prom was beautifully decorated.

Other than the prom budget, I also was in charge of the budget for the Essentials Closet, which is a closet of items that youth may need when transitioning homes or when they come to the center. This could be shampoo, laundry detergent or toothpaste. It took a few tries to get the budget right because it was smaller than what was needed, and it was the first time I had ever created a budget like that. The other main part of this internship is watching over youth drop-ins. Kids from the neighborhood can come in and hang out in the center from 3 p.m. until closing. We will host socials and workshops for them in July.