I started working at U4SC in June of 2018. Since then I have gone from doing tasks like fixing little things on the website and answering student inquiries to writing curriculum for a new program or onboarding others for one of our other programs in my year and some odd months at U4SC. The experience has been one of much growth both in my skills and as a person (I hope, at least) as I mature. This was made possible with the immense support I received from the other people at U4SC as I was able to build relationships with them and learn from their experience.
As a teenager we are frequently told that what we are doing doesn’t really matter. I even heard that from my parents who were annoyed that I was trying to balance a job and school. We are at an age when we can’t vote and lawmakers have decided we can’t even be trusted to consent to our own medical decisions. Yet at U4SC I saw a different narrative. I was surrounded by (relatively) young people who pushed back on that and were having a remarkable influence on the world and who were driven to help others. The scope of the programs is remarkable, reaching hundreds of students from multiple countries across the world. And I was able to contribute to those programs as well as help design new ones to reach students both across the world and within my own community. I never thought before as a 16 or 17 year old I would be able to reach that many people and have the chance to bring opportunities of education and internships I took for granted to them. Now I have grown confident in my abilities and influence that even the shortest teen can have on others. In the future, my goal is to continue working with others and share in that drive to help others that I learned from working at U4SC.
When I met Priten for my first day of work I could barely write an email, let alone interact with dozens of students participating in our internships or building parts of our website. That changed quickly over the first summer, as I took on more and more responsibilities at U4SC. Through engaging with students and managing a lot of our helpdesk communications, I was able to become adept at not only using the online platforms that allowed for our communication but also providing direction to students who struggled with challenges I recognized from my own English and rhetoric classes. WordPress and its plugins became second nature, as well as task management tools and workplace communication platforms like Slack, not to mention churning out emails. My proficiency in them will no doubt prove helpful in a world of increasingly online communication and employment.
Written by Director of Operations, Alan