Reflections from the Summer

Summer Intern Reflection

 

The weather is changing as everyone gets into the full swing of back-to-school! As we head Fall, some of RAP’s interns from this past summer have shared their thoughts on how their summer experience has impacted their perspective going into the new school year!


“If I wanted to disillusion myself with the thought of summer never ending, the hustle and bustle of being back on campus and constant ping of my phone signifying new email (read: more work) has reminded me that the season of endless days is slowly coming to an end.  I’m so excited to begin my sophomore year of college here at Columbia.  While my freshman year was very rewarding and introduced me to a dynamic new world, it was my summer at RAP that will shape the work that I do for the next three years and beyond.  RAP has allowed me to combine my interests in youth empowerment, education, and social justice into one experience.  As a member of the RAP team, I felt valued and validated every day that I walked into the office.  My comfort level at RAP really allowed me to explore my self-identity and affirm who I am and what I stand for.  I stand for justice in the face of inequality.  It is not enough to fight for those without a voice by being their proxy but by giving them the tools they need to amplify the voices they already have.  I’m more interested in being the vehicle to provide a platform for people to speak on.  Reaching this conclusion was very important for me as I begin my term as the Community Outreach Chair for the Muslim Students Association (MSA).  My biggest goal this year is to help create an inclusive community that provides a space for general body members to express their concerns without viewing the executive board as the “other.”  RAP has given me the foundation and beginning steps to make this possible and I only hope to continue to build on with what I have learned!  RAP does amazing work and I can’t wait to see what initiatives they take on next!”

— Mamasa Dukureh, Sophomore, Columbia University (pictured above center/left)

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“As the RAP Operations Intern, I got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how social justice organizations run. My internship at RAP was my first experience in the nonprofit world, and it’s helped me realize that I want to get more involved in social justice work at my own school community on Long Island. I hope to use the organizational and creative skills I picked up in RAP to support other nonprofit organizations in the future.”

— Alison Krowiak, Junior, Hofstra University (pictured above left)

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“During my summer, I served as an intern for YASI – the Youth Advocacy Summer Institute. The purpose of the program is to teach students about their health justice rights and how they can utilize such knowledge to become advocates in their communities. Given that this was my first ever internship, I was especially anxious to be surrounded by individuals who were so educated about social justice issues. Little did I expect that I myself would become so passionate about these same issues within a span of three months.

I particularly enjoyed educating the YASI advocates about health justice. Nothing was more rewarding than watching a student question his traditional beliefs and those of others. It was great watching the students become more open-minded and socially aware; their eagerness to learn made me realize that all of us can make a change if we really put our mind to it.  

Currently, I am a sophomore at Northeastern University. Although I am still undeclared, my participation in YASI has driven me to become well-involved in clubs such as NUSHARE (Northeastern University Sexual Health Advocacy, Resources, and Education) and our Sexual Assault Response Campaign. YASI has taught me that confidence, persistence and passion can take any individual a long way. I am eternally grateful to YASI for providing me such an eye-opening opportunity.”

— Kavita Singh, Sophomore, Northeastern University (pictured above center/right)