What I Did This Summer

This summer I was able to secure a 10-week internship with The Equity Project Charter School. This internship was especially fulfilling for me because I attended TEP Charter School from grades 5th-8th. 

I am currently a senior at Amherst College. When I first got to Amherst I knew I wanted to study Psychology so the first class I signed up for was Intro to Psych. Because of Amherst’s open curriculum, I was able to take classes that interested me but weren’t required for the Psych major. I took an education course called the Purpose and Politics of Education and quickly fell in love with the Ed Studies department. I continued taking both Psychology and Education classes and eventually declared both majors. In a routine meeting with my Ed Studies advisor last winter she suggested that I reach out to previous teachers and mentors to possibly secure an internship for the summer. So, I did.

My area of concentration in the Ed Studies major is access to education and equal access to opportunity which is essentially TEP’s mission. This internship seemed to align perfectly with my career path. However, it was unpaid. 

As a First Generation Low-Income student the summer is very important to me because it is when I work the most and save the most. But this internship was something I really wanted to do. Luckily, I was able to acquire funding through the Charles Hamilton Houston Program with the Loeb Center.

In the 10 weeks I spent at TEP I worked on a few projects. The first one was a highschool prep series where I met with eighth graders who were going off to private high schools. These students were either in Oliver Scholars or Prep for Prep which happens to be really similar to my experience while I was a student here. We met once a week, on Wednesdays, during their lunch hour and covered a few topics during this time including managing your workload, asking for help, being away from home, culture shock and being BIPOC at a PWI. At the end of June right before graduation the students all mentioned that they liked having a space where they could ask questions freely and without judgment.

My last two projects at TEP consisted of researching and creating a restorative practice protocol for implementation. I looked at existing research and then created a guide catered to TEP. This guide included resources for reflection like videos, books and interactive exercises. The guide also included a revised discipline protocol that is based on restorative practices rather than punitive practices. This guide also went hand in hand with my last project at TEP which was creating a social emotional learning curriculum for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Each curriculum was unique and included lesson plans for the entire year. 

I am now continuing this research in my Advanced Research Seminar and hope to create adaptive guides for many schools, not just TEP. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to do this work at a place I hold so dearly and I am excited to continue to develop this work.

By Cindy Rosario
Cindy Rosario Peer Career Advisor