Join us in thanking Tino for dedicating his summer to FOCUS North America! Tino assisted our national office and served on the ground at St. Herman House – FOCUS Cleveland. Here’s what Tino had to say about his time with FOCUS:

What project or experience stood out to you the most during your internship? 

I had the blessing to not only work with John Moxen on the Back to School Backpack Program, but also to spend a week at the St. Herman House in Cleveland. Both stood out to me in different ways, the first being from a behind the scenes standpoint, and the second which was more personal.

Can you briefly describe/share this experience?

I found fulfillment through the backpack program through the gratitude of our community partners. I found that it was so incredibly easy to get ahold of and speak to people when you’re trying to help them receive free donations! On numerous occasions I had community partners go out of their way to thank me, FOCUS, and the sponsoring parish. It truly is ‘good work’.

In terms of the St. Herman House, I quickly came to see that the men there were there because they had nowhere else to go… They didn’t have much that they could hold onto: friends, belongings, community, but it was through St. Herman’s that these men really looked within themselves and the world around them for value. Every man I met was sincere and spoke with depth because each of them had undergone real struggle that they had learned so much from. 

What is something you learned that you didn’t know before your internship with FOCUS?

I learned how to professionally and courteously reach out to people, and I also learned about what it takes to put something together on a national scale. I was intimidated at first when I heard our goals for the summer, but with some help from John Moxen, our goal didn’t seem so far away.

What are you most excited about returning to school this fall?

I most excited to officially start my double major in Jazz Studies and Entrepreneurship. I play the drum set, and this semester I will be taking mostly music classes. Music is what interests me most, but my hope in the future is to fuse my interests of jazz and entrepreneurship to create a way to serve a just cause.

What advice would you give to another person interested in interning with FOCUS?

I would advise them to push to get experience not only in whatever department they are serving in, but also that they experience the magic of what goes on “in the trenches” like at St. Herman’s… interacting with the mission of FOCUS North America.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would just want to say thank you to everyone that has made my experience so welcoming and fun. Kenny for opening up this opportunity to me, John for his patience and help, and the folks of St. Herman’s that treated me with such love. I look forward to doing more good work with FOCUS North America in the future.

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