Elise P. '22 and Jess B. '22, Our Internship at Agape Development Center & Oasis Crisis Intervention Center

Juniors Elise P. and Jess B. share about their internship at Agape Child Development Center and Oasis Crisis Intervention Center (Agape/Oasis).

Communications: Tell us about who you are.

Elise and Jess: I’m Elise P. ’22, and I’ve been at Breck since Kindergarten. I’m Jess B. ’22, and I have been at Breck since 5th grade. We run the Domestic Violence Action and Awareness Club at Breck, and we lead an X-block class called “Healthy Relationships and Consent.”

Communications: What led you to pursue internships at Agape/Oasis?

Elise and Jess: We initially got involved with Agape/Oasis when Ms. Jori Thibodeaux, the president of Agape/Oasis and a Breck parent, got in touch with us after hearing about our club at school. We soon learned that Agape/Oasis do so much—from crisis intervention to 24/7 childcare, support groups, and more—and we knew that we wanted to be involved with this empowering and incredible organization. From there, we co-led a workshop called “Domestic Violence and Consent” on MLK day with Ms. Pethuel LeFlore and Cece Ntanga, two other amazing women from Agape/Oasis. We have plans to be a part of Agape/Oasis’s new campaign, spreading awareness to teens about issues of relationship violence and consent.

Communications: What are you learning in your internship?

Elise and Jess: Through working with Agape/Oasis, we have learned so much about relationship violence and have become even more motivated to take action. Before we started working with Agape/Oasis, we held many misconceptions about relationship violence and did not realize the high rates at which it affects high school students. 

Communications: What has surprised you during your time working at Agape/Oasis?

Elise and Jess: Prepping for the MLK workshop, Ms. Pethuel told us that 1 in 3 teenagers have experienced some form of abuse in a dating relationship. We realized that relationship violence affects people in our community at Breck, including our classmates and friends. What we found even more shocking was the lack of education and conversations about relationship violence and consent at school given the alarming rates at which it affects young people. 

Communications: What would you like the Breck community to know about the work Agape/Oasis does?

Elise and Jess: Agape/Oasis not only provide services for victims/survivors, but they are truly dedicated to the work they do. Through working with Ms. Thibodeaux, Ms. Pethuel, and Cece Ntanga, it is so apparent how much love and care they put into what they do. It has been such a privilege to learn from them, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their work.

Communications: Are there ways that Breck community members can get involved in Agape/Oasis?

Elise and Jess: Breck has hosted drives for Agape/Oasis in the past, so be on the lookout for them when they happen! Aside from that, we believe that the first step to ending relationship violence is embracing discomfort and having conversations about it. On the Agape/Oasis website, there is information about how to donate or contact them about volunteer opportunities.

You can find more information about Agape/Oasis at http://www.agapeoasis.com.

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