A High School Intern's LitWorld Experience

Hello! My name is Julia Lynch, and I recently graduated from high school in northern New Jersey and will enroll at New York University in the fall.  Though I’m officially a “high school intern,” my age hasn’t prevented me from undertaking a variety of outreach and writing projects.  I’ve interned for LitWorld since January and have completed numerous projects that have expanded my worldview as well as my personal network.  I reached out to my community during World Read Aloud Day; used my position as a freelance writer for a local newspaper to promote World Read Aloud Day; met hundreds of LitWorld supporters at the Gala in May; and conducted extensive research for writing assignments.  Here’s a sampling of my past work for LitWorld as well as upcoming projects that I’m a part of.

In the spring, I reached out to the library and school contacts I established through World Read Aloud Day regarding Girls Clubs, a series of reading and writing workshops for young women and girls that tap into their inner talents and allow them to establish a greater sense of self.  I wanted to continue LitWorld’s success of expanding Girls Clubs around the globe—LitWorld currently has thriving Girls Club chapters in Ghana, Kenya, and Iraq, as well as the United States. 

I sent out dozens of unanswered e-mails, but suddenly, I got a bite.  I was ecstatic when the library director of a library in an under-resourced city of New Jersey expressed interest in the Girls Clubs program.  As we talked on the phone and e-mailed frequently, her interest in Girls Clubs grew; soon, she was asking for more materials and copying staff members on our e-mails.  I was sure this particular library was the perfect fit for Girls Clubs, as the dedicated staff and disadvantaged population of the city ensured that all parties would be optimally benefiting from the program. 

Three months after our correspondence began, the library director e-mailed me bad news; her library was handling a full slate of fall programming and simply couldn’t commit to the six-week Girls Clubs program.  After all of my work, I was disappointed it didn’t result in anything tangible, but it did improve my communication skills, provide me with new contacts, and allow me to become more familiar with the mission of Girls Clubs.  Though I didn’t create a Girls Club, I can apply my newfound strengths to other LitWorld projects where I can make an impact.

This summer, I am assisting LitWorld with a variety of exciting and ambitious projects.  Last week, I met with Dorothy, Rachel, and Joanna—a rising high school sophomore who is representing LitWorld at an upcoming Florida academic conference—to discuss a new teen volunteer program.  Joanna and I offered our perspectives as teens, while Dorothy and Rachel weighed in with their extensive LitWorld experience.  Our meeting was a great start to a promising project, and I can’t wait to become even more involved!

In the coming weeks, I plan to begin work on the LitWorld Tumblr with Ruby and Dorothy.  Though our existing blogs on the LitWorld Web site function well, we feel that creating a Tumblr is an efficient way to promote LitWorld to an untapped portion of social media users.  Furthermore, Tumblr is a sharing-driven Web site, as users share videos, photos, text, and gifs with one another—a movement not fostered by our current blog layout.  You’ll have to visit our LitWorld Tumblr to learn more!