LitWorld Through the Eyes of Our Summer Interns

The arrival of summer and the LitCamp season also brought 8 Summer interns into the LitWorld office here in New York. We want you to get to know these brilliant young leaders, so we've asked each of  them to take a turn sharing their LitWorld experience. Our trailblazer is Melissa Aybar, a recent graduate of Amherst College. Melissa majored in Psychology and French and plans to pursue a career in the field of education. She has spent the past four years working with a special needs facility in the Dominican Republic and will be moving to Boston (her hometown!) this fall to start teaching. And with that we are honored to welcome our guest blogger, Melissa!

Right now my brain is on what I’m calling “information overload.” I have spent a lot of time figuring out what exactly LitWorld does as a whole - figuring out what the people who make up the organization do, and how it all functions together. This is hard to do in two short weeks but it is really incredible how the staff here has taken the time to sit with me and tell me exactly what they do, what they’re thinking about for upcoming projects, and genuinely ask me what I want to learn and how I want to get involved.

It isn’t typical to start a summer internship and have the people working there take a high interest in what it is you want and what it is they can do for your learning experience. These last few months I have been thinking about what my role as an educator is going to look like next year because it’s a little scary! Being able to share the skills I want to gain and being able to step back and see how everyone else views learning has been incredibly helpful and a highlight of my week.

 Here I am (on the left) with my fellow Research & Development Intern, Isabelle! We're in the middle of planning a summer LitFest at the Polo Grounds Community Center in Harlem!

Here I am (on the left) with my fellow Research & Development Intern, Isabelle! We're in the middle of planning a summer LitFest at the Polo Grounds Community Center in Harlem!

All of the people that LitWorld has connected me to since the beginning of the internship have been my high point. Meeting some of LitWorld's longtime friends and partners and getting to know my fellow interns has allowed me to hear the stories and journeys that led them to the organization. Everyone has a different narrative and we all have different passions and hopes, but we all connected to LitWorld and we all identify with its mission.

 This week the LitWorld Summer Interns had an inspiring meeting with Jeremy Kohomban, President & CEO of LitWorld's longtime partner organization, The Children's Village.

This week the LitWorld Summer Interns had an inspiring meeting with Jeremy Kohomban, President & CEO of LitWorld's longtime partner organization, The Children's Village.

Starting the internship with people so knowledgeable about education, literacy, community involvement, teaching, youth, and other amazing things in and out of New York was an inspiring way to start us off. These last two weeks brought on a new appreciation for the work I am so passionate about because I see the many ways people are putting in their time, effort and skills to connect to other people and really push for change.

 I had absolutely loved reading aloud with the Power Women Moms LitClub of Kibera, Kenya over Skype.

I had absolutely loved reading aloud with the Power Women Moms LitClub of Kibera, Kenya over Skype.

This summer I am excited to continue learning about this organization and be a useful part of the team. I can’t wait to get both the experience of seeing the inner-workings of such an influential non-profit and the chance to work directly with the children and families that are part of LitWorld programs. I have already learned a ton of things that I can take with me into the classroom (shooting stars for EVERYONE!) and am most looking forward to seeing how all of the new and wonderful ideas I have been hearing about unfold.