It is hard to believe that I have already been in Kenya for four weeks and that I will be back at Brandeis in less than a month. My time with the Kenya Scholar-Athlete Project has been extremely rewarding so far.
After completing the arduous selection process I have settled into teaching classes to help the students improve on the SAT, TOEFL and writing. As a prospective law student I plan to take the LSAT this fall. Teaching the skills required to succeed on the critical reading portion of the SAT has improved my ability to perform similar tasks that are required on the LSAT. As I prepare for the LSAT in my free time I encounter difficulties that are similar to those that my student’s face. This has helped me improve as a teacher and a test-taker.
One of my main goals with this internship was to immerse myself in an entirely new culture. I have been able to achieve this with more success than I had previously imagined. Whether it is shopping in the local market or sharing meals with students I feel like I have begun to truly understand and appreciate this unique society. The students in the program actually live at the camp with me for the duration of the program which allows for me to get to know them particularly well. This consistent interaction has been invaluable for me and will undoubtedly help the students’ transition into life in an America when they arrive at college.
I have been surprised by how much I have enjoyed teaching. I had little experience with teaching before I arrived, but have adjusted quickly. The class is a teacher’s dream. It is made up of fourteen highly intelligent and motivated individuals who participate readily. The students respect each other’s ideas and ask pertinent questions about the lessons. Outside of class the students can often be found with a book in hand going over the notes from the day’s lectures. I have found it enormously gratifying to see the students incorporate methods and ideas from my lectures into their work. It has only been a short time, but this internship has certainly sparked an interest in pursuing teaching for a career. The skills and experience I will acquire from this internship will certainly benefit my future academic and professional endeavors.
Working with such a small program has given me the opportunity to see everything that goes into a program for improving social justice. I have often written idealistic papers in support of various social justice projects. This internship has given me insight into the realities of this type of program. My experience so far has reinforced my conviction that social justice can be improved through programs like KenSAP.
I am very excited to see what the next few weeks hold. The internship has already gone by too quickly, but I feel like I am making the most of it. -Alex Kramer ’13