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SPAA Internship Spotlight: Jacinay Coleman-Shelton – Summit Housing Authority

Name: Jacinay Coleman-Shelton 
Degree Program: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Public and Nonprofit Administration 
Graduation Date: May 2025
Name of Organization: Summit Housing Authority
Location of Internship: Summit, NJ
Title: Housing Assistant 

Summary of Responsibilities:
During my time at the Summit Housing Authority, I had the pleasure to work alongside the social worker of the facility to assist in gathering necessary information used for the well-being of tenants, including long-term and palliative care, low-income housing referrals for seniors and families, and general upkeep of the housing areas. Outside of that collaboration, I worked alongside the deputy director, office administrator, and housing manager. I assisted with work orders in case of emergencies in the housing units while also managing and maintaining sensitive and confidential information for filing records. I also had the opportunity to manage checks and vouchers for local NJ businesses that help the residents. Additionally, I often participated in tours for the incoming residents to walk them through our housing process and make sure that our property is a good fit for them and their loved ones. 

Favorite Aspect of Internship:
I enjoyed all aspects of my internship, though one highlight would be when my supervisor and I came up with an idea that allowed me to present my passion for nails as a licensed cosmetologist. I provided complimentary gel manicures for the senior residents throughout a course of three to four days!

Career Goals:
Since public administration is so broad, I have not figured out exactly what I want to do yet. So far, I know that I am dedicated to pursuing my MPA and want to continue being of service to low-income communities. 

How did the service-learning course help you navigate your internship responsibilities?
The course helped me navigate my internship responsibilities as I took into account everything that I learned and determined how my skills could also apply to other career-related opportunities. This also helped in the discussion boards, as they helped me reflect on my initial takeaways from the experiences I had and encouraged me to brainstorm the possible steps I can take as I further my career.

What kind of skills did you learn during this internship?
Some skills that I acquired from my internship are communication, time management, organization, and public speaking. These skills were crucial for me to have, as I needed to make sure that what I was doing was being done properly and in a timely manner. Handling checks and vouchers also needed to be processed carefully, which is where the organization came in. I was also responsible for creating a presentation for the families in order for them to access resources within Union County.

Has your mentoring part of the internship been helpful in navigating your career goals?
The mentoring part of my internship helped me navigate my career goals as I never felt alone during the process and felt comfortable asking questions. I truly appreciated the people I worked with because they uplifted me and made my experience so much fun. One thing that I will always remember is my supervisor giving me a story behind every task she gave me, something we always joked about but always ended up contributing to my understanding.