One of Centre College’s nine Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) interns, Olivia Schadler ’19 worked at CitySquash in Brooklyn, New York, throughout the summer.
A non-profit that serves students year-round from third grade to graduation, CitySquash supports children from economically disadvantaged households with mentoring, after-school programming and other forms of academic and extracurricular enrichment.
Schadler worked as an after-school tutor and during the organization’s month-long summer camp, she was a technology teacher.
Since SHECP helped students organize the logistical aspects of their internship, including housing, funding and transportation, Schadler could focus more on the experience at CitySquash. The program also gave her valuable real-world experiences that went beyond her internship.
“I think the biggest advantage of Shepherd was getting to live with other interns from across the country,” she said. “We had a really tight knit group that ate dinner, explored the city and discussed different social justice issues that our internships addressed with each other. It was an incredible learning experience.”
A Bonner Scholar who made good use of Centre’s nationally ranked study abroad program, Schadler notes that her college experience prepared her well for this internship in an unfamiliar city.
“My past education classes and participation in the Bonner program gave me background knowledge of systemic issues that affect the students I worked with,” she added. “My study abroad experience in London was also extremely helpful because it prepared me for living in and navigating an entirely new city.”
“Doing this internship for academic credit was perfect, because I was able to read and learn about these causes while observing their effects every day through my work,” she said.
Similar to the connections she and other Centre students make with their professors, Schadler noted that the best aspect of her experience was the personal relationships she had with her students.
“My favorite part of the internship was getting to build relationships with my students and coworkers,” she said. “It’s an extremely individualized program; I really got to know each and every one of my students, which made teaching so much easier.”
With her stronger understandings of poverty and education inequality, Schadler expressed that she hopes to pursue a career in teaching after Centre.
By Kathleen Murphy ’18
August 25, 2017