North Star Youth Partnership

North Star Youth Partnership engages youth ages 11-18 through educational, recreational, leadership and service-learning opportunities. What started in 1997 as an educational program to prevent adolescent pregnancy in Yavapai County has expanded to 11 different programs serving youth in Central and Northern Arizona.

Tuesday, 12 March 2024

North Star Youth Partnership Helps Intern Achieve Her Dream of Helping Others

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Elizabeth Teele always had a desire to help people but wasn’t sure how this would fit into her future. So, she decided that obtaining a degree from Northern Arizona University (NAU) would be a good start. She hoped to get into social work to help families, kids and teens.

Finding a Perfect Match in North Star Youth Partnership

To finish her degree at NAU, Elizabeth needed an internship that would immerse her in her field. After looking at a list of organizations where she could complete her internship, she discovered that North Star Youth Partnership (NSYP) was an ideal fit. North Star Youth Partnership, a program of Catholic Charities, helps youth ages 11-18 build confidence and a brighter future through educational, recreational, leadership and service-learning opportunities.

Elizabeth immediately liked Diane DeLong, North Star Youth Partnership’s Senior Program Manager. She felt inspired by Diane’s energy and passion for the work she does.

Working with Youth and the Community

Elizabeth became an intern with NSYP in August 2023. She started at Teens’ Closet, a boutique where teens ages 13-19 can shop for free, stylish clothing every other month. They can also access necessities like toiletries and receive assistance with writing a resume, preparing for an interview or setting goals.

It didn’t take long for Elizabeth to discover how supportive students and the greater community were of Teens’ Closet. Students at Northpoint Academy, a local high school, collected donations of clothing and toiletry items for Teens’ Closet and proudly presented them to Elizabeth.

“Everyone supports and helps everyone else. It has been really cool to see how thankful the clients are. A few of them that have shown up were just so thankful to get to go shopping [at Teens’ Closet] and make the day all about them," said Elizabeth.

She also helped with planning and participating in Teen Maze, a life-size board game that includes members of the community to help teens see firsthand the consequences of life choices. Over the next few months, she will also be working with some other NSYP programs, including Priceless Prom, Safe Sitter and Girl Talk.

Advocating for the Most Vulnerable

Elizabeth was drawn to Catholic Charities because of the broad range of services it provides and how it walks alongside clients. If clients need a service or resource that Catholic Charities doesn’t offer, staff are happy to find or direct them to an organization that does.

“I want to advocate for others and help them get the resources they need,” Elizabeth said. “I know what it’s like to fall down a few times. I want to be able to help people back up again.”

If you’re interested in volunteering with Catholic Charities, check out the many opportunities to turn your passion into action. You can also support North Star Youth Partnership by purchasing in-kind items from our Amazon Charity List.

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Nikki Semprun

Nikki Semprun is the Teens’ Closet Coordinator for North Star Youth Partnership, a program of Catholic Charities. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grand Canyon University. Nikki likes being connected to the community by working at Catholic Charities and serving at a local church. Outside of work, she enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her family.