Stories From Our City | Internship Program

Intern Finds a Clear Purpose at YU

Story shared by Stephanie Ierullo, Youth Ministry Intern

Stephanie Ierullo started at YU as an intern through the Internship Program in January 2023 because she knew she had a heart to serve others. After graduating with her undergrad, Stephanie was looking for a job where she could help vulnerable youth and receive mentorship as she considered her next steps after school.

She found YU on an accidental job search, and on a whim she applied.

“I feel like I started, and I didn’t know where the year would end,” she shared. “It was like a blind step, and I just trusted God and through that I feel like I’ve grown in understanding what God has for me.”

Over the last year, Stephanie has been managing working at YU and going to school at York University for a master’s degree in social work. Her biggest challenge during this time has been discerning if God is calling her to work in the Christian sector or in the marketplace.

Now that her internship is over, Stephanie has had to make a decision.

As an intern Stephanie had the opportunity to experience so much of what happens at YU. She visited summer programs so she could write the “Summer Snapshots” publication, helped develop leadership training for youth involved with the Jane and Finch community, and spent time supporting the Young Moms program.

“It was just so incredibly heart breaking to see what goes on within our backyards really,” she said.

“I saw the impact of Youth Unlimited and how it brings Christ’s hope into dark places. It was just so tangible.”

While an intern, Stephanie also spent time in a placement with Children’s Aid Society as a requirement of her master’s program. As she juggled work in both places, she spent a lot of time with God and her YU mentors trying to determine which type of work God was calling her to long-term.

She expected to stay at YU as a staff-member when she first started, but through the intern discernment process she realized God was really clearly calling her to stay at the Children’s Aid Society.

“Even if the outcome of the year is just that you are moving on like I am, it’s not a waste,” she expressed.

“For a while now, I feel like I have been feeling God’s call, but I didn’t really understand it and I really didn’t feel bold enough to step out into it. But now going through this year I have learned so much about God, about myself, about others. Now I feel like I have this new boldness to carry this light and hope of Christ outside of Christian ministry organizations.”

Even though Stephanie will move on from YU, she is now equipped to shine the light of Christ wherever she goes next.