by Hannah Chadwick-Dias
Over the last few weeks, I have conducted research for future visitors; monitored an online exchange between Iraqi and American high school students; created guidelines for moderating online forums; developed a survey about disability inclusion for future World Learning interns; planned an event to celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act for our staff and local organizations; updated old projects; reviewed documents on accessibility; and provided feedback for the Advancing Leader’s Fellowship Program through an online learning platform. I have worked with many teams, contributed to various projects, and gained a lot of valuable experiences that I can take with me to my next career.
Apart from the skills I have learned through this internship, I have also met a lot of amazing and very talented people, both in person and through online platforms. The online virtual exchange has more than 80 high school students (a mixture of Iraqi and American youth participants), who are working on their leadership skills, targeting social problems in their communities, defining global issues and figuring out ways to solve them, as well as building long-lasting relationships with each other in the program.
The Advancing Leader’s Fellowship program has over 50 participants from all over the world who are World Learning alumni, and are invited to an online project development course. They are asked to target problems in their communities and develop a project proposal that will be sustainable. They will be able to submit and apply for grants at the end of the course, which will help them implement their projects in their communities. I was given the opportunity to read their proposals and provide constructive feedback. Many of their proposals center around youth leadership, education for girls, women’s rights, spreading LGBT awareness, providing support for youth with HIV or AIDS, and creating safe places for marginalized groups to freely express themselves or just to get support to help them be active members of society.
This summer has taught me a lot through my experiences with researching, event planning, updating project, monitoring online forums and networking. I did not expect that I would learn to use online tools, such as Google Classroom and Moodle, which can be complicated when we have to use a screen reader to navigate through the site. The best part of my internship is that it has allowed me to figure out what I want to do in terms of my career path, and I am forever grateful to USICD as well as World Learning for this incredible opportunity!
Hannah Chadwick-Dias is one of the participants in the 2016 USICD Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program. She and other USICD program interns are writing a series of blog posts about their experiences with USICD’s internship program, to be posted at this blog. USICD coordinates the internship program, which brings a cohort of students and recent graduates with disabilities to Washington, DC, each summer to complete internships at various international organizations in the Washington, DC, area. Hannah Chadwick-Dias is completing her internship at World Learning. Learn more about USICD’s internship program at http://usicd.org/template/page.cfm?id=257. Read the biographies of our interns in the summer 2016 program. The views and opinions expressed at this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of USICD or World Learning.