Janely (Class of 2027) is a Breakthrough New York high school senior and a summer program assistant. She talks about what she has learned during this internship and gives advice to other high school students.
What are your responsibilities as program assistant?
As program assistant, I take attendance in Salesforce and call the families of students who have not signed in or are absent. I’m also in charge of sending Teaching Fellows reminders about upcoming events. I help facilitate lunch, and some days, I create lunch themes for students to sit at each table so they can mingle. Overall, I help the program manager and the operations assistant with whatever’s necessary.
What made you want to apply for this role?
I wanted to apply for this role because I’m a Breakthrough student myself. Overall, I enjoy working with students, especially students with the same background that I have. We share common experiences. Giving back to my community is one of my main goals in life, to be able to help others in ways that I know Breakthrough New York has helped me. I enjoy serving as a role model for other students.
I also think that this internship specifically helps me explore both communication and education, which are two topics that I’m very passionate about. Especially education equality and how Breakthrough New York takes steps to help improve that. [To] help the program run is something I was really excited about and I’m happy to be here.
What skills are you developing in this internship?
The biggest things here that I’m learning are keeping track of time, communicating with others, and just staying on top of things and [being] organized. It involves a lot of communication with 12 Teaching Fellows. Staying in touch and [prioritizing]. It helps improve time management. It’s managing work with having time to myself or [doing] homework or preparing college applications.
How are these new skills going to help you when you return to school?
Communication is definitely [something] you can use it all throughout your life. We have to get our point across in an effective manner. That’s going to be important when we go back to school because we have a new college counselor coming in and I’m going to start the college application process. Being able to share my needs and what I want in a school and communicating that effectively. Time management and prioritization [when] balancing school work and all the college applications.
What are your dreams for college?
My dream would be to stay here in New York City, but I’m definitely keeping an open mind and exploring the area. I would also love to have a study abroad opportunity in college so I can explore not just New York but other places as well. I’m also looking to be involved in the school community [like] being a student ambassador. I know many schools have culture centers, or Latinx affinity groups – just a space where I can share my background and experiences with other students – [that] would be very meaningful.
Have you thought about what you want to study?
I was considering becoming a lawyer or going into the nonprofit sector. Whatever I end up in, I do want to give back to my community and make a change [in what] I want to see improved, which is education or immigrant reform.
What lessons will you bring with you to your next job or internship?
Communication and time management are skills that I will carry on for the rest of my life. [With] every new job, you’re with new people. Having many experiences where you have to adjust to a new work environment and the people you work with, that’s also valuable. Every time, it changes, but you have some lessons you take with you to the next job or internship.
What advice do you have for your peers who are looking for jobs or internships?
If you come across an opportunity, definitely take it because it’s very valuable. I would advise students to start now in high school because it gives you wiggle room to explore before you go on to college. You can still change your mind when you’re in college, but it helps narrow down where your interests are. Going into a job or position where you’re able to explore what you want, see if that’s something you see yourself [doing] in the future is very valuable to have early on. Never feel afraid to ask questions. That’s going to be very important in the process.
For more details about our internship opportunities, visit our Teaching Fellows & Mentors page.