“Based on my 25 years in public affairs as a teacher and administrator in my native country of Kenya, I chose the field of Human Services in order that I may help the underprivileged,” says practicum student Nelson Kamari.

After Nelson retired, he could no longer care for his four high school-aged boys.  He wanted a career that would give him the opportunity to not only work with the underprivileged, but to provide a better life for himself and his children.  Nelson, a widower, moved to the United States in search of that opportunity.

Nelson has lived in the United States for 13 years.  During that time, he has worked as a certified nurse’s assistant for several nursing homes and as a custodian.  Currently, he works for Ameristar Casino and Doubletree Hotel in Westport.

Because of his challenging work schedule and the need to provide for his family while attending school this summer, Nelson found it difficult to secure a practicum site flexible enough to accommodate his busy schedule.

“I called several other sites, but they weren’t accepting students at the associate degree level,” recalls Nelson. “I was so grateful that Room at the Inn was able to take me.”

Nelson serves as an overnight innkeeper on the nights clients stay at the day shelter.  He also assists the clients with their day-to-day activities and individual goal expectations required by our program.  Nelson also helps the staff by searching on the internet for job opportunities and housing opportunities for clients.

“The most important service Nelson provides for Room is that he opens his heart to the wonderful clients that reside at Room at the Inn,” says Volunteer Coordinator Melanie Matthew.

Nelson is currently enrolled at the St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus.  He plans to graduate in the fall with his Associates Degree in Human Services.

“My main goal for being at Room is not just to get my hours to complete my degree,” says Nelson.  “I want to help the clients be better than what they were before I met them.”

Students interested in providing volunteer service or a possible practicum placement at Room at the Inn should contact Melanie at 314-209-9198 or mmatthew@divineprovidencesisters.org.