TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?
Be prepared to work hard, to come under emotional strain, and for the goodbyes at the end to be excruciating. Yet it'll be entirely worth it, because this in on-the-ground change that no one can argue with.
A London, UK native, Andrew taught Music, Women's IT, Community English and Staff English as an intern in the Fall of 2011.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
Color Games! Having all the kids outside chanting in their teams and waving their flags, learning to work together and encourage each other in order to accomplish the different sports activities. The excitement was really tangible.
What do you miss most about TYO or Nablus?
The kids, most definitely. I've kept some of their pictures and my old registration lists so I can remember their names, though of course it's not the same.
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
Recently I began working as Campaigns Officer for the SPEAK Network, a mainly UK-based group committed to campaigning for global justice through spirituality and the arts. When my contract ends, I expect to take up an offer to teach in an inner-city elementary school with Teach First (the UK equivalent of Teach for America) beginning in 2013. Understandably, my session at TYO was central to prompting me to apply for the Teach First program, as it reminded me how valuable and world-changing it is to invest in our children's education.
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
Naturally it gave me first-hand experience of how people in the West Bank have to live on a day-to-day basis, and frequently their astonishingly resilient temperament despite their struggle under occupation. On the professional side, I'd say that TYO stretched me and worked me hard (which is what i wanted!), by challenging me to maintain high standards in execution whilst under pressure.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?
Do it! TYO still blows my mind just thinking about it, even now. Be prepared to work hard, to come under emotional strain, and for the goodbyes at the end to be excruciating. Yet it'll be entirely worth it, because this in on-the-ground change that no one can argue with. If you get in, my biggest advice would be to go with an open mind and heart, ready to listen and help out with whatever needs doing.