Updated: Mar 11, 2019
After what seemed to be the shortest summer I have ever had, my parents dropped me off at the spot known as Enders Island for my final summer internship.
My name is Kyle Ciulla from Pasadena California, and I am a Senior at Saint Michael's College located in Burlington Vermont. I am a double major in Business Administration and Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts (MJD). I have been working the same internship for the past four summers, and wanted to expose myself to something new before my last year of school. That is when Fr. Tom Hoar, The President of St. Edmund's Retreat, reached out to his long time friend/my father wondering if I would be interested in a summer job at Enders Island. It is not hard to sell a college student on Mystic Connecticut during the summer, so I immediately said yes.
Fast forward almost six months and you have caught up to my story. After a two and a half hour drive up from New York, I arrived at Enders Island. I was going into the internship knowing that involves some aspects of business and some aspects of media. I immediately panicked a little because I am boarding on an Island, doing an internship that can potentially involve two of the broadest subject matters. I vividly remember talking to my dad before his departure letting him know I was nervous. He gave me a pep talk, like dads do, and reassured me that just like in school I will do great!
My first morning on the Island I walked to the dining area where the chef asked me if I wanted an omelet. My first thought was that this experience is just like a resort, and I could get used to homemade breakfasted every morning; and it did not stop there. Chicken with rice pilaf was for dinner and at that moment I knew that I would not go hungry on the Island.
The food was definitely good, but the best part of my first day was meeting the students here at the recovery residence on Enders Island. Any stranger placed at the table would be unable to tell the difference between the students who struggled with addiction, and those who have not. They were just like me, they enjoyed playing video games and just wanted to have a good time at the dinner table. It was a humbling experience, because I am unable to put myself in their shoes due to a lack of life experiences that they have individually struggled with. I am excited to talk and eat with the boys more, and be apart of their of their story integrating back into society.
My first 24 hours a learned a lot about the Island, but also about myself. I have calmed down a lot since my arrival, and for my sake I should maybe worry a little less. I am excited for the new experiences that will happen this summer, and I will make sure to document them!