To see kids laugh and play every day despite the hardships they faced was inspiring, and to get to be a small part of what brought that joy made the whole experience worthwhile.
A Portland,OR native, Megan taught Arts & Crafts for youth, Fitness and Advanced English for The Women’s Group, and Professional Competency at An-Najah University as an intern at TYO Nablus in the fall of 2012.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
My favorite moments from TYO were definitely the time before classes started when kids would come in and hang out in my classroom. It was nice to have the time to get to know the kids one-on-one and to get to hear about what they wanted to be when they grew up, what their favorite activities were both outside of and within TYO, and to practice my Arabic and their English with them.
What do you miss most about TYO or Nablus?
I most miss the people I met in Nablus– the kids, the staff, the women, and my awesome translator, Amani!
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
I work as a Refugee Youth Advocate with a local refugee resettlement agency in Portland, OR. I help kids to get acclimated to life in the US and registered in school, and then provide ongoing support for the first year kids are in the United States.
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
Having the first-hand experience of working with kids from a refugee background definitely gave me the start to the job I have now. The three months I interned in Nablus gave me the background that informs the way I work with refugee kids here in the United States. It also gave me the opportunity to be as involved as I wanted to be on a wide array of projects. Personally, TYO was a great reminder of the resilience of people, and especially children. To see kids laugh and play every day despite the hardships they faced was inspiring, and to get to be a small part of what brought that joy made the whole experience worthwhile.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?
The internship can be challenging and at times frustrating, but the experience is completely, 100% worth it. You take away so many skills and so many memories that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life, both professionally and personally. Definitely apply– just be ready to roll with the punches. Flexibility is key when working with kids.