My Summer Internship: A Leap of Faith

Soli Martin-Abascal ’24, a University of Delaware Biden Institute  student and Equity Intern shares her unexpected and transformative experience in San Francisco this past year. Despite initially aiming for a different internship, she found herself assisting students with limited English proficiency. Through this experience, she discovered the power of genuine communication and the unexpected rewards that come from embracing unforeseen opportunities. 

This summer I took a last minute opportunity to travel to San Francisco to be an Equity intern with the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. Due to the timeline I had little knowledge and zero expectations of what I would be doing specifically. I had my heart set on a completely different internship that I was not selected for. When I got there I was  put into a classroom to assist kids who spoke little to no English. Before this experience I would have never considered myself to be bilingual, or any other level of fluency in Spanish, as I had not spoken it since my grandmother passed away. However, this was important—these kids needed a support system, they needed an advocate. The school provided no books, no worksheets, and no activities in Spanish. I was able to translate some lessons, create some of my own, and bring in some books in Spanish. As little confidence I had in my abilities the kids had an immense amount of confidence in me, they trusted me.

I never expected to grow so close to my Spanish speaking students, however that is the power of language: we connected not because I spoke perfect Spanish but because I put in the work to communicate and teach them in the language they were comfortable with. I also never expected to have such a profoundly impactful experience and at the end of the program I received a card from one of my students  which said: “Ms. Soli te extrañaré muchísimo porque eres la mejor maestra.” I have learned it is important to take that leap of faith when an opportunity comes about. Even if it is not something that you are initially drawn to there is always something to be learned and that is what makes an experience truly rewarding.

Learn more about becoming an Equity Intern

 

advocacybilingual educationCaliforniacommunityCommunity Empowerment Activistscommunity engaged learningEducation EquityEquity InternsLeo T. McCarthystudent leaders

Athena Davis • December 8, 2023


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