Academics, Internships, School of Liberal Arts, Religious Studies
Stephanie Ramkissoon poses

Imagine living in this country through a pandemic. Imagine losing your job and struggling to support yourself, and your family. Imagine not knowing where to turn for help. And now imagine you don't speak English.

Stephanie Ramkissoon '23 spent the summer as an intern for Schenectady Inner City Ministry. SiCM is a partnership of 50 congregations for ministries of social service and social justice. With financial support and volunteers, SiCM serves thousands of high-need people each year.

This summer, Ramkissoon was placed at a food pantry. One day, a man approached her window, but struggled to talk. He had just moved to the area, and didn't speak much English. Ramkissoon began speaking in Spanish, and the feeling of relief transformed the man's face. She was his angel, and she was the only person at food pantry that day who could speak Spanish.   

At the pantry, Ramkissoon visited with guests and served them basic necessities such as food, water, and toiletries. The man who spoke only Spanish returned later with a couple friends. They brought their friends. SiCM was able to help... Ramkissoon was able to help.

She would also help out in the community garden or assist with the summer meals program for kids. Ramkissoon did exactly what was needed - not because she needed the credits, but because she wanted the on-the-job training. 

Ramkissoon wants to be a missionary. She sometimes gets strange looks, and has been encouraged, more than once, to pursue a more "practical" career. But the Spanish and religion double major said she will always remember this internship, because it cemented her purpose and ambition. 

"I feel as though God had given me such a huge opportunity at SiCM."

"I want to be a missionary. I want to show the world of God’s love and help as many people as I possibly can in doing so. There is such a huge need, physically and spiritually, in our world and I believe that God wants me to help address it. There are many times where I second guess God’s plan for me because of the mindsets of others but this internship has reminded me that I am headed in the right direction and not a single person can take that away from me." 

Stephanie Ramkissoon '23