TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?

Molly Alum

Molly Bernstein

I continue to visit Nablus and TYO whenever I get the chance. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work there, and am grateful for the encouragement and generosity of those that continue to work at the organization and develop its impact.

Originally from Washington, DC, Molly was an intern at TYO Nablus in the summer of 2011 and 2013.

What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO? 

I have many favorite moments from my time in Nablus, but one in particular that often comes to mind when I think about TYO has to do with some very creative water-balloon dropping. An intern teaching a creative thought class tasked her students with finding innovative means and materials to protect a water balloon that would drop from the TYO balcony. Having taken the assignment quite seriously, students anxiously awaited the results of the drop from the balcony, and the only thing more exhilarating than watching the students' excitement of successfully protecting the water balloon was the support and encouragement students offered to one another regardless of the results.

What do you miss most about Nablus?

I think what I miss most about Nablus and TYO (and probably why I keep going back there) is the atmosphere that staff members in all parts of the organization create and maintain. In particular, I miss working alongside some of the most inspiring women and learning from the professionalism with which they approach their work and the creativity with which they deal with the obstacles and challenges often facing them. Oh yes, and the kunafa.

What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?

I began the summer as a fellow in the CASA program, an Arabic language program, based in Cairo, but moved to Amman with the program after the events of June 30 and early July. As of now, I plan to finish the program in Amman until June. While still unsure of specific plans after the program, I am hoping to spend next year working in the Middle East.

How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?

My experience at TYO was formative on both a personal and professional level. As my first time in the West Bank, my time in Nablus cemented my love for the region and desire to live abroad more generally. Professionally, I learned a great deal by the example of staff members and gained an insight for the first time into the extent of preparation and collaboration necessary for an organization like TYO to have the impact it does. Finally, I can draw a direct connection between TYO and my decision to apply for the CASA program this past year. Not only did TYO foster my interest in the region but also prompted my desire to study Arabic in depth.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?

I would certainly encourage anyone interested in early childhood education to apply for a TYO Internship. My advice would be to apply with the readiness to work hard and dedicate a great deal of energy to the kids you will be teaching in addition to a strong sense of creativity and flexibility.