My name is Genasee, and I’ve been an Educational Programming Intern at 826DC this semester!
At First Glance
Right now, I’m finishing up my last semester at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am so obsessed with Colorado that I wasn’t entirely sure how I would acclimate to DC life. Frankly, I was always intimidated by the idea that everyone in DC seemed so serious and all about work.
Then I found 826DC.
This organization felt so warm and inviting, and I instantly felt super excited about this internship. I had previously interned for a nonprofit in Peru, where I was able to teach girls the importance of feminism, equality, and other empowering ideals. The idea of encouraging and supporting students through creative writing in this role seemed perfect for me because of my interest in both creative writing and mentorship. I knew that this was the right place for me to be.
Supporting 826DC’s youth writing programs has confirmed just how much I love working with students. To be able to give them positive feedback about something they are creating has been so wonderful. Knowing that I have had a hand in helping build these students’ self-esteem? Absolutely priceless.
During my time here, I was a mentor with the After School Writing Lab (AWL) and I helped with the Journalism Club as well. I occasionally helped students with their high school applications at Center City – Petworth Public Charter School, as well as virtual field trips at DC Bilingual Elementary School.
Working with AWL was meaningful to me because I got to work one on one with two specific students, mentoring them and helping to facilitate their creativity through their writing. Journalism Club was special to me as well because I got the opportunity to teach the entire class (over Zoom) which was super rewarding and a new experience for me.
Helping students with their high school applications was also exciting because I could truly put myself in their shoes. It was great knowing I might have had a part in these sweet young people’s bright futures. Working with DC Bilingual was great because it was fun to spend time with younger students. It was also very interesting to observe the different methods being taught in elementary school nowadays.
All in all, I enjoyed the programs I was a part of thoroughly.
Interning here also helped me engage thoughtfully with my professional strengths and areas of growth, and identify the kind of working environment I’d like in the future. Outside of 826DC, this has been a pretty tough semester for me. However, I have felt nothing but support from my supervisors, Cristopher and Andrea. They’ve helped me get more comfortable with recognizing and asking for what I need. I’ve learned so much from them and it’s been such an honor to help support them.
Something else that I love about 826DC is that they put more emphasis on mindfulness than any other place where I’ve worked. The writing programs would always begin with an activity to check in with one’s feelings, which I thought was so unbelievably important—especially for young people, but also for me! The ability to simply BREATHE here and to have the opportunity to leave our issues at the door makes 826DC such a powerful place in which to work, play, and create.
I am one of those people who needs to be doing something that feels meaningful in order to truly enjoy my life (I’m assuming that many people who apply for this internship feel the same). This semester at 826DC just re-emphasized that feeling for me and truly helped me discover my purpose. At the beginning of the semester, I was feeling very lost. But at this point, I can honestly say that I know what I want out of life, and part of that definitely has to do with my experience at 826DC.
I could not recommend interning at 826DC more, and if you’re thinking about it, I would highly suggest applying! You are sure to have an impactful experience like I did.
Best of luck!
-Genasee, Educational Programming Intern, Fall 2021