TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?
TYO gave me more tools and experience than you could imagine coming out of a four month experience. If you take the program seriously they really set you up for excellence in a challenging field, and I could not be more grateful for the experience.
Originally from Pittsburg, PA Rachel taught Games & Sports, Fitness IT as part of The Women's Group and Professional Competency at An-Najah University as an intern at TYO Nablus in the fall of 2013.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
My favorite moment at TYO took place during a game we were playing outside near the end of my session. One of the boys I had been working with was very angry - always either fighting or storming around and refusing to participate. He had a very difficult home life, but about eight weeks into the program I finally saw him start to make eye contact with us and smile, which was a huge victory in and of itself. One day we started to play a game that relied heavily on cooperation and patience, something I never could have attempted at the start of my session. I was nervous when this boy was put on a team with the one other child he fought with most frequently, but they surprised me by working together perfectly and encouraging and supporting each other. Watching that breakthrough was a huge moment for me.
What do you miss most about Nablus?
My amazing volunteers and translators and the TYO balcony looking out over Nablus. Most of all, my kids and getting to spend my time playing games with them and watching them grow.
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
I just completed a year working as the Senior Program Manager for the NGO Exponential Education in Ghana. I'm currently volunteering with a refugee resettlement agency before beginning my master's degree in public policy at the University of Edinburgh.
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
Personally, I was really forced to grow through the challenges of working with this population in this setting. I made amazing friends and memories, and discovered how happy it made me to work with kids. Professionally, TYO gave me more tools and experience than you could imagine coming out of a four month experience. If you take the program seriously they really set you up for excellence in a challenging field, and I could not be more grateful for the experience.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?
Do it! And don't be afraid to go.