This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Jonas Bronck Academy (JBA), a middle school located in the Bronx, through the non-profit Friends of JBA (FOJBA) because of the generous fellowship grant given to me by the Honors Program. As a psychology major, I aim to help others through personal connections and advocating for mental health. After a whole academic year of helping out my mentee at JBA through the mentorship program offered through the Honors Program, I knew I wanted to keep impacting students’ lives in the summer.
The mission of FOJBA is to enhance the academic and social-emotional growth of JBA scholars, which was certainly something I wanted to be part of. My time during the internship was divided into three main tasks:
Working with my mentee and other students during summer school.
Researching and planning ideas that could be implemented in the school.
Planning long-term ideas to collect donations for the organization.
During the first three weeks of the internship, much of my focus was on writing documents of ideas I wanted to implement in the school; one could say “proposals” in some way. The three papers I spent most of my time writing about involved mindfulness, meditation, and journaling; implementing positive habit formation; and a college preparation program for the future high school.
I also helped with researching companies we could contact and apply for funds, prepared and sent emails, and brainstormed and planned ideas that could be executed within the school to raise money. It is essential to establish long-term partnerships and school fundraiser ideas that bring a satisfactory amount of money for expenditures within the school that could be used, such as for the future college preparation program.
The work I have mentioned above is most of the work I have done behind the scenes. The other part of the internship was working with the kids during summer school, which was my favorite part. Seeing the students making progress daily was very satisfactory. After the internship, seeing my work over the summer was very fulfilling. I am very grateful for the Honors Program, the staff at JBA, and the donors who made this experience possible.
This summer, I interned with the World Youth Alliance, a non-profit organization seeking to promote human dignity in education, policy, and culture.
The organization is a coalition of young people from developing and developed countries united in solidarity for this cause. It has over one million members from over 160 countries and is present in every continent of the world.
As the Project Management Intern, I had the opportunity to assist the European sector of the organization with day-to-day tasks, as well as important projects. One project I helped spearhead is the Dignity Defenders Campaign, which helps raise funds for the organization.
Being in Brussels, I was able to attend a multitude of conferences at the European Parliament, where I monitored and took part in the conferences. I was able to bring the importance of human dignity and the role of young people in protecting it into the discussions. My experiences as a dignity defender at the World Youth Alliance echo my experiences as a scholar for justice in the Honors Program.
My internship at the World Youth Alliance this summer greatly contributed to my professional growth. I was able to hone my communication skills by networking with numerous people of all backgrounds, as well as by advocating for human dignity in the European Parliament and with other international organizations.
I also cultivated a deep sense of responsibility during my internship, as I was trusted with important tasks such as representing the organization at conferences, as well as leading important projects such as the Dignity Defenders Campaign.
Overall, I am pleased with how my summer internship went. I gained a great deal of professional experience in a rewarding internship. I am very grateful to the Honors Program for giving me the opportunity to go to Brussels for this internship through their generous fellowship. I look forward to utilizing the new skills in my repertoire during the upcoming school year.
This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern with The PVBLIC Foundation, which is a media, technology, public advocacy, and sustainable development-focused registered 501(c) nonprofit. This organization “mobilizesmedia, data, and technology for sustainable development and social impact.” For example, working with the UN Department of Global Communications, the PVBLIC Foundation has created the SDG Media Zone. This zone, constructed as a physical space for the United Nations General Assembly, advances the 2030 Agenda out of the policy sphere and into the public discourse through impactful in-depth interviews and conversations on global issues. My internship began the week of June 7th, and I split my week assisting with communications work for the Media Zone and the parent, PVBLIC.
In my role assisting with the Communications team, I was able to apply my media knowledge and develop my interpersonal soft skills with fellow interns and my superiors. Something I especially valued was that interns were offered the opportunity to be connected with people, offices, and organizations that we were interested in, and PVBLIC found connections to those bodies and coordinated mentorship sessions. I was provided a mentorship with someone highly involved in ambassadorial work in the United Nations, and they provided me with invaluable insight on the networking and career-building process within the UN. In fact, since my internship, I was offered a job with PVBLIC Foundation, and have since been helping the group with their initiatives as well as prepare for this year’s United Nations General Assembly taking place in New York City in September.
I am incredibly grateful for Dr. Keller for encouraging me to apply, and Hannah for her guidance throughout the Fellowship process. The Honors Summer Fellowship allowed me the freedom to look at unique work opportunities and provided me with the opportunity to work for an organization that does incredible work towards issues I care about. It is because of the financial support from the Honors Program that I was able to explore professional and academic interests and consequently secure a job at a positive mission-driven organization. I highly encourage students to pursue opportunities within the Honors Program because they open doors for invaluable creative, academic, and professional endeavors.