Over the summer, I was an intern at GO Project, an educational equity non profit that serves students struggling in NYC public schools. I made and distributed lunches to our seventy students and just helped make sure that the daily programming ran smoothly. I spent most of my time distributing and putting together lunches which was a really interesting experience. We had a list of all the students who were allergic to some thing and so when the prefab sandwiches arrived I had to take out the things that certain students could not eat–ei. cheese or the bread from the sandwich had to be swapped out for gluten free bread. When I delivered the lunches to students with allergies or dietary restrictions they often could not understand what their allergy was and explained that they always had pizza at home so why could not they have cheese on their sandwich here. It was hard to work to make them understand what an allergy is and what foods will make you feel sick if you are allergic, but a lot of students did feel sick after eating things that they were not supposed to. All my work with food and nutrition at the program made me really aware of how complicated the issue of educational equity is. It starts with food and nutrition and making sure that students feel good and healthy at school. I hope that I was able to teach some of the students, even the very youngest ones, about how best to take care of themselves and I am super excited for Saturday program to begin in two weeks!
This summer I worked at the GO Project, organizing HR files before the summer session. It was really interesting to work in such a professional office setting and I learned a lot about communication. I communicated with people who had been hired to make sure that they all had their hiring paperwork sent in. I was surprised at how slowly people would respond with their paperwork, especially after we had ask them to send in the paperwork many times.
In early May, I attended a screening at school by the feminist club of the film The Mask We Live In. It was a truly eye opening and critical film to watch. It delved and really analyzed the idea of societal masculinity. I always considered myself a feminist but I don’t think I totally understood how rooted in society the idea of being tough or hard without emotions really was. Its engrained in myself as well, which was something that was difficult for me to grasp and the film led to very much introspection on my part. I really hope these types of discussions can continue not only in my life but at friends as well, even if I am not there to participate in it.
This past April, I volunteered at the Model UN booth at Around the World Day. Around the World Day is an annual event held by RAAD that raises awareness about different cultures from around the world. Students gather together to share their cultures and expose the Friends community to a variety of traditions, foods, etc. At the Model UN booth, I hoped to both raise awareness about the club, as well as the social, cultural, and political issues that it discusses on an international level. Around the World Day has always been a great experience for me and the Model UN team and I am glad that I got the chance to participate in this event.