This is the first post in a series of four posts written by the Summer 2019 Honors Internship Fellows. The students received a stipend that enabled them to work at non-profit organizations for the common good.
Author: Abigail Gillis, senior
This summer, I had the privilege of working as an Elementary School Intern at DREAM Charter School in East Harlem. Like other charter schools, DREAM’s goal is to provide a strong college preparatory education to disadvantaged students. DREAM is also focused on family involvement in children’s education; promoting social, emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing as well as academic achievement; and using baseball to promote holistic wellbeing and the skills required to achieve it.
As an intern with the elementary school, I was able to spend a couple of weeks at the beginning of the summer supporting teachers in their classrooms and on field trips before the school year ended. However, most of my responsibilities were oriented toward the upcoming school year(s) rather than on direct work with students. My fellow intern and I pursued two research projects, one on Inquiry-Based Learning and the other on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and put together teaching resources based on our research. We also had a few projects which we chose to split up between us. I worked mainly on creating ELA pacing calendars for PreK-5th grade and on putting together the Staff and Family Handbooks for the 2019-2020 school year based on earlier years’ materials.
As a rising senior, I was very much hoping to find a position this summer that would allow me to work inside a school. I was looking for an education-based internship that would give me a different kind of experience than the tutoring I’ve done in the past (including work with the Rosedale Achievement Center through Honors). I was especially hoping to have the opportunity to work at a place like DREAM, whose mission and work support so many students with limited opportunities. The Honors Summer Internship Fellowship has allowed me to accept a position that not only helped prepare me for my future career in education but actually gave me a chance to do so in a way that benefits hundreds of lower-income students in NYC, and I am so grateful to the Honors Program for providing me with a way to spend my summer with DREAM.