Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Meet Monique McIntyre - Generations United Summer Intern

As someone whose mother was raised by her grandmother – Big Mama – I know firsthand the benefits of intergenerational connections.

My great-grandmother’s influence on my mother helps shape the way she raises me and my siblings.

Big Mama was financially prudent, and as a result ran a household and raised five children on one paycheck. The way she handled money transferred to my mother and was a huge inspiration and the catalyst for my mother’s career of advising her readers on finances.

My mother has since transferred her financial sensibilities to me.

Another person who directly influences my life is my Grandma Lois. I have so many fond memories of her. Some of the most fun we had were at her holiday arts and crafts parties. We would make and decorate ornaments and dance in our chairs to Christmas music.

She always made a point to be at my school events from pre-K to High school and still continues to support me.

During stressful times at college, I am constantly comforted by Grandma Lois’s messages of love and encouragement, which always seem to come when I need them most.

For example, during my sophomore year, I was preparing for a math exam. I was incredibly nervous and full of self-doubt.

The night before the exam, my Grandma Lois randomly sent me a message about how proud of me she was and how I should never doubt myself or my capabilities. Her message carried me through to the exam the next morning and really helped to boost my confidence.

That exam ended up being my second highest exam grade for that class.

Then there’s my grandfather Charles, or more affectionately known as Pop-Pop, who moved in with my family in the months before he passed away.

I am so grateful for the valuable time I was able to spend with him. Those precious memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

As a rising senior at the University of Maryland-College Park, double majoring in Psychology and Family Science, I hope to one day help develop and strengthen families through therapy.

I am excited to be interning at Generations United this summer. I look forward to helping promote Grandparents Day, assisting in adding to and strengthening Generations United’s Intergenerational Programs database and continuing to lend my support to the Programs of Distinction.

Family relationships are incredibly important to me.

I believe my personal connections with Big Mama, Grandma Lois, and Pop-Pop will help inform and drive my work this summer with Generations United.

My elders have given me a unique perspective on the past and they continue to be a guiding light for my future.

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