Finding Hope in Individual Stories

How do you find optimism without hearing from your community?

Family Service of Rhode Island launched our own RI StoryCorps-style internship program to lift up stories of resilience and hope from Rhode Islanders all across the state - particularly those we meet from FSRI’s “Be Safe” COVID 19 campaign as well as Healing, Health, Home and Hope programs. Weekly, we profile Rhode Island residents to hear from you about your experience. FSRI’s StoryCorps internship Program utilizes the NPR StoryCorps model to conduct interviews and write short articles on the stories of those who are keeping Rhode Island safe and healthy.

"This very difficult time, when people are social distancing in the face of a global pandemic and also coming together protest and demand justice and equity following the murder of George Floyd and so many other Americans of color - we have never before been through something like this in our nation's history," notes FSRI's Advancement team head Maggie Slane, "we have a responsibility to very consciously and actively lift up new and different voices right now. We need to share stories of courage and perseverance so that we can all not just get through this time, but become more informed, kinder, and stronger because of it."

Kyle Ginsberg is a college student who has recently joined FSRI and is working as a StoryCorps intern this summer. Kyle, originally from Sharon, Massachusetts, has just completed his first year at Trinity College Dublin studying Sociology and English Literature. During term time, Kyle is a voluntary tutor to elementary school aged children in low-income areas of Dublin and a Student Mentor to other students through his University. In his free time, he enjoys reading political and philosophical literature, gardening, and cooking. Kyle is excited and grateful to be contributing meaningful content in a time when people need it most from a non-profit doing fantastic work.

Kyle states, “It’s easy to feel like this pandemic will never end, but writing these stories has reminded me of all the good people working towards a better, healthier future, and I’m so lucky to have the chance to share their messages. There’s no change without hope, and these short stories about all the good Be Safe has done so far brings back my hope after months of quarantine.”

The Be Safe kits include 3-5 days of food, cleaning supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and other necessities delivered to people’s homes through a no-contact system and have helped over 10,000 people since mid-March. From Mayors supporting “Be Safe” to recipients of the kits, the weekly stories help give a personal voice to this time. To join the StoryCorps program, apply through the FSRI website under “Internship Opportunities” or click the link below.

"We are very grateful to have Kyle to help us launch this program," adds Maggie.