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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Student Spotlight: Amy Lewensky

Amy Lewensky, former Spanish community service learning student
by Ann Abbott

For several years, several years ago, I coordinated paid summer internships for students who had taken my Spanish community service learning courses and proven to have good language skills, excellent transcultural competence and an overall entrepreneurial mindset. Unfortunately those internships ended when the funding ended.

However, the community organizations are still there. Current students who are truly entrepreneurial might be able to create their own internship.

In fact, one of my former interns (and one of my favorite people in the world), Amy Lewensky, wrote about how her first summer internship, paid through my program, later turned into an internship and job offer that I had absolutely no part of.

So read Amy's description of her experiences, and see what you can make happen for yourself!

"As an intern working at Central States SER, I was involved in many of the organization’s operations.  These included teaching ESL and GED classes, practicing interview skills with job seekers, and even being a student of the basic computer skills course taught in Spanish.  From this well-rounded experience doing a little bit of everything, I learned more about SER’s mission and its programs.  Specifically, my involvement as a GED tutor in the Youth Empowered to Succeed program helped me realize that I wanted to become a teacher.  Sadly the summer ended; but I continued to keep in contact with the people at SER.  Feeling content and impressed with my contribution to their organization last summer; they secured me a paid position for the next summer, this time as one of their own employees.  My manager felt that I found my calling with the Youth Program and hired me as the summer GED instructor for a class of 20 teenagers.  When I explained to him that I was certainly not qualified for that type of position (it called for a completion of a bachelor’s degree and teaching experience or coursework in education/curriculum), he simply stated, “I’m hiring you because you can’t get much better quality.”  Another summer seemed to fly by and sooner or later the emails started coming from my coworkers at SER asking when I was graduating.  A little later, I opened an email that read “May 12th, that’s when you can start.”  SER was offering me a full-time job.  Although this time I had to turn down the offer, having plans to continue with my graduate degree, I had an enormous sense of accomplishment.  I feel that SER probably feels the same way; making sure that I know I will always have a place there, where they will be ready to welcome me back with open arms."

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