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Ministry major finds diverse Christian community during Manhattan internship


Ariel Miranda
Ariel Miranda
The skyline of Manhattan is a well-known scene on the movie screen, but this summer it became Ariel Miranda’s new office for ministry. In the bustling of the city, Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries has established a source of peace and hope for the community.
Ariel, senior ministry vocations major from Houston, stumbled upon the summer internship opportunity with RMM through a website called The internship offer was presented by Summer Communities of Service, a national program that partners with churches and non-profit organizations to supply communities with needed services. After Ariel won the hiring committee over in two phone interviews and an online video chat, she was asked a series of questions and given the chance to select a community location preference. Hers was New York.
The site in New York is located in a neighborhood called Hell’s Kitchen. RMM is the parent organization of the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project and works in collaboration with the Metro Baptist Church and a network of partners. Their mission is to provide the surrounding community with basic necessities and educational services to youth and adults, alike. They offer a variety of free programs for the community such as a food pantry, clothing closet, toiletry and snack distribution service, after-school program, trauma-informed care and more.
Ariel worked a total of 10 weeks as the associate director for the children’s summer camp known as C.L.U.E, which stands for Children Living the Urban Experience. Ariel was one of only three youth programming interns hired by RMM.
The camp is for children enrolled in first through sixth grade levels. As associate director, she was responsible for planning and organizing games, activities and field trips. She also scheduled orientation sessions for parents, managed junior staff and volunteers and handled other administrative tasks.
Aside from C.L.U.E. Camp, she helped with the Hell’s Kitchen rooftop community garden, worked with teens at the teen center, and helped children with school work through a program called Page Turners.
“Through this internship I witnessed what a real Christian community looks like,” she said. The Metro Baptist Church “truly embodies what it means to accept people of all backgrounds, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.”
After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from ACU, Ariel plans to attend graduate school in social work and is grateful for the insight her internship offered her in the areas of social advocacy and justice. 

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