My internship at TYO helped guide my professional decisions after I left, and gave me a stronger sense of myself as an employee, manager, and person.
Originally from Minneapolis, MN Eleanor taught Sports for adolescents, Fitness class as part of The Women’s Group and Professional Competency at An-Najah University as an intern at TYO Nablus in the summer of 2013.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
One of the best moments from my class at Najah was a discussion my students had about their desired careers. There were strong opinions in the class about how Palestinians can best help and add to Palestinian society…by leaving and gaining professional and educational experience elsewhere, or by staying and adding immediately to the economy in Palestine. The discussion started organically, and it allowed students to challenge their own ideas about their place in society and hear from their peers about “big” topics.
What do you miss most about Nablus?
The kids! My students at TYO were the most inspirational, fun, and resilient people I’ve ever met. Working with 13-14 year olds was so much fun, and watching them grow as a community over the summer was amazing. That age (in any society) is really hard for boys and girls to work together, but as the term progressed my students became one community and one team–that was an incredible transition to be part of.
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
Currently, I work at a human services agency in Minneapolis as the Volunteer & Thrift Shop Manager. Our organization works with people in poverty in the Western Metro of the Twin Cities, providing food, housing, advocacy, employment, and goods. Our thrift shop is open to the public and gives people the chance to spend very little on high-quality items they need (plus it earns over $100,000 for our organization to support other programs). I love the opportunity to provide services for the community and bring together volunteers, donors, shoppers, and program participants in an equal and respectful exchange!
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
I applied to the internship with TYO because it sounded like a great professional opportunity and it definitely was, but the most valuable lessons I learned weren’t curriculum writing or classroom management or working with a translator. I learned much more about how to manage people of different cultures, how to asses and best utilize the skills of my coworkers, and I learned a lot about what kind of work is rewarding and satisfying for me. My internship at TYO helped guide my professional decisions after I left, and gave me a stronger sense of myself as an employee, manager, and person.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?
Apply! This internship challenged me and helped me grow in many ways. The staff at TYO really invest in their interns, and I gained valuable professional experience as a result of my time there. The relationships I formed with the kids, families, and other staff are invaluable and I’m still in contact with my fellow intern cohort.