Before my time interning at Nuçi’s Space, I had been to the building multiple times for shows and one or two practices. I loved the atmosphere, and I loved what I knew of their mission. I had heard a brief story of how the organization was started because of a boy named Nuçi committing suicide, and how the name was in his honor. However, it wasn’t until this past Christmas break that I read Linda Phillip’s captivating book about the real story that I truly felt the depth of the love I have for this organization.
Knowing that I wanted to be involved in some way when I got back to school this semester, I requested that I might be placed with Nuçi’s Space for my required music business internship. I was then so lucky to have been able to get an internship with Debbie Watson here. Debbie and I met shortly after we got in touch, and I vividly remember after getting ready to leave our first conversation, she told me she was “a hugger”, and quickly embraced me.
Since the first day, I have always felt excitement and joy to walk through the doors and learn a little more every day. Debbie, being in charge of youth programs and development, taught me all about their program, Camp Amped. I learned about everything from grants and budget to what kind of sale Publix had on cookies when I was getting snacks for the kids at the Spring Session. Some days I would work on emails the entire time, and other days, we would just have meaningful conversation about our lives. Something that was meant to be like a job, became the least stressful part of my life, and I am forever thankful for this experience.
As an individual, I have struggled with mental illness over the last few years, and I still struggle to this day. It brings me so much joy and inspiration to see people with the world on their shoulders come out of this building looking a little lighter than they had been before. It was even more of an inspiration as a musician to see such young men and women chasing their passions by coming to play together at Camp Amped. These kids are far more talented than I could ever be, and it is utter joy to see them enjoying themselves, and becoming supports for each other. It feels like an unspoken camaraderie between so many people that we seek music to heal us in some way or another, and that is what Nuçi’s does for people like me. Seeing how people support each other when we cannot support ourselves is one of the most beautiful things that one can experience, and Nuçi’s Space’s team is always there to provide that for you, even if they don’t realize they are doing it.
It has been so humbling to work with such great people, and to see change happening within the community of Athens. I will be missing the constant friendship and conversation with the staff, and I know that I will be dropping by often. It has been comforting to see that beauty is born out of the darkest moments of life, and I hope that I can share this reminder with those who feel like hope is lost. Nuçi’s Space will stay with me forever, and I am proud to spread this message of hope to others, too. Thank you to Debbie. Thank you to Nuçi’s Space.