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Learning Valuable Life Lessons: Hope (Hess) Black ‘15

Hope (Hess) Black

When Hope (Hess) Black was a student at Virginia Wesleyan, she admitted that she was “not the most patient or humble person.” An internship opportunity, working with those in crisis, began a journey of personal growth and self-discovery for her.

Hope double majored in Criminal Justice and Sociology and completed an internship under the mentorship of Scott Liverman, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice. Her internship involved working with the Victim Witness Assistance Program at the Adams County Courthouse in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

From the first week of the experience, she knew working in this environment would change her life. 

“My first week there, I worked with a child victim who was speaking up about what she had been going through. Working with the child required patience and I learned that really any situation in life requires patience. That week, I learned that this world is bigger than me and everything I knew. The rest of the internship was a personal journey for me. Coming out of the internship, I was a different person. Good changes happened and today I am more patient than I have been at any other time in my life.”

During the internship, she also found her professional calling.

“After the internship, I knew that my true calling was to help others in any way that I could. I have been doing so ever since. The experience taught me humility, patience, as well as how to interact with and help others.”

Hope parlayed the lessons she learned into a career as a human resources coordinator at the corporate office of Liberty Tax Service. 

For those considering an internship experience, she says, “simply put...DO IT! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

She encourages students to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“You have so many doors open to you right now. Go through as many as you can before graduation day! Study abroad for a semester, go out and find that special internship that will teach you patience and humility, and use all of the resources VWU has to offer. Get yourself ready for the real world!”