Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo Essay!

Soo for my photo essay, I chose to include pictures that support some of the quotes found on the evaluations for Youth Town Meeting. (The quotes serve as the captions.) Each student does an evaluation, rating the speakers they saw and explaining why or why not they enjoyed the day, so this is w. I hope that this photo essay is able to give you an idea of what the YTM was like. Enjoy!

"Even if 99% of the kids here don't end up taking any action, its still good to get them thinking about it."

"Age is not a barrier."

"During the Nika Water briefing session I learned that a simple idea can blossom into an amazing way to help others."

"I always enjoy coming to the IPJ because is a stunning building, and the perfect environment to cultivate ideas centered around peace and justice."

"[During the briefing before lunch] I learned that I hate people who ask questions that are directed at a large group of people while all of the Roast Beef Sandwiches are taken."...This one just made us laugh. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More Reflection... :P

What new appreciations did you develop while working as an intern? Why?

I have definitely learned to appreciate all the hard work and planning it takes to pull off an event for 700 teenagers, some of whom are not very open minded. Everything needs to be accounted for, prepared, etc. All of the volunteers need to know what they are doing, which in itself is a huge challenge. And, most importantly, all of the students need to be able to enjoy the day. It is a huge (and daunting) process. But, we were able to accomplish it! Event planning is an interesting field, one that I haven't really ever considered before. This experience has not only broadened my perspective on international relations and peace-building, but also an entire new (yet not entirely unrelated) field.

How might internship influence the direction of your life?

If anything, internship has showed me that there are so many ways to "do good in the world" with an international relations degree. There are so many institutes, programs, NGO's, NPO's, etc. that are all currently making a difference. I know that I want to find a cause that I am passionate about, and do whatever I can to make a difference. I have "after college" on my radar now, which I didn't at all before. If someone asked me about my future one month ago, I would have immediately jumped to college. But, my experience at the IPJ has shown me that I don't have to wait until after high school and college to get involved.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yay for No POL! But I Still Have to Reflect...

Soo it turns out that I will not have to do a technical POL in front of the people that work at the IPJ! On the day of the Youth Town Meeting, Clint Akarmann (a fellow summer intern) and I gave the closing speech to 700 students, and that counts as my POL. This is very good news for me, because I'd rather focus on other things that I can do at the IPJ this week. Sam and I are going to have a simple discussion with our mentor Karla about our experience over the last three weeks, and how we've grown and all that stuff. So to prepare for that little discussion (rather than prepare for a POL) I'm still gunna respond to three of the six reflecting questions that were given to us today...

What did you learn about your own work from your internship project?
I have learned that I am pretty reliable with photoshop. A lot of people know the basics, but since I have worked with it for so long (since 6th grade) I am actually becoming kind of good at it. For a contributing part to the YTM, I actually chose to do it on photoshop instead of word because I knew it would turn out better.

How was your work as an intern meaningful to your education?
My experience at the IPJ has truly opened my eyes to what a degree in international relations can translate to in terms of a career. As high school students we are pretty much solely focused on college at this point, because it is the next crucial step in our lives. But after four years of that, we have to find something that we can do with all of this education. Like I said in the last blog post, I want to find something that I can do that I will truly enjoy, and that will make a difference in the lives of others. I have seen that the IPJ is a type of place that I would like to see myself at in 8 or 10 years, and I think that qualifies as a meaningful internship.

How was your work significant or meaningful to the world beyond school and your specific internship site?
The Youth Town Meeting that Sam and I had a large part in planning is designed specifically for that. By informing kids our age, we can hopefully inspire at least some of them to take action and become a part of something bigger. I am currently going through all 700 evaluations of the event, so I will soon know if our goal was reached :)

PS. I got a USD parking ticket yesterday. Being a grown up sucks. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Love College

I have had the unique experience of having an internship that is based solely on what I want to do with my life. As I have mentioned before, I found this internship over the summer because it is focused on something I am passionate about: International relations. If I have learned anything from the people at IPJ it is that I want to do something with my life that I am passionate about and not something that will just paid the bills. I have truly enjoyed my experience my time working at this non-profit. It is evident that everyone here is passionate about what they are doing. Not only are they passionate but they are enthusiastic and committed to the work that they do. Tomorrow is the big project I have been working towards, the Youth Town Meeting, for the last two weeks and I am extremely excited to see it all plays out. Everyone that has been working with Sam and I with the WorldLink program has been great and I admire each of their dedication to solving global issues.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


After a wonderful four day weekend, I headed back to the craziness that is the IPJ just four days before WorldLink's biggest event of the year. There is much to do, and my mentor is pretty stressed, so I feel like if I ask for less tedious jobs it would be a waste of everyone's time. Because of this, I do what I am asked (which most of the time is not tedious at all). I am happy to help in whatever way I can to make sure the overall event runs properly, whether it is designing a flyer in photoshop, cutting ribbon for nametags, or attending meetings with all of the volunteers. I have pretty much recognized by now that everything I am doing has a purpose in making the Youth Town Meeting run smoothly, and none of it is busy work. So in my eyes, being a self advocate is recognizing that what I am doing may not be the funnest thing in the world, but it definitely is not meaningless.