This week was sort of the calm before the storm. Camp (Eureka!) hasn’t started yet, but we here the rumbling start. The DukeEngagers, as they call us, have blended in well with the original staffs, and we are starting to figure our positions. We are done with training and are starting to prepare the for the camps. Meeting with other facilitators to talk about our classes, camp started to feel real. In a few weeks, I’ll be teaching real girls and have a chance to let them explore STEM! I still doubt that I am knowledgeable and wise enough to be in a teaching position, but every time I verbally doubt myself someone tells me that our role isn’t necessarily to educate these girls in STEM but to let them know that STEM is something fun and perhaps something they can pursue.
Along with our main goal of prepping for Eureka!, we spent a day with the “externship” girls, talking about how to pitch ideas to supervisors and revising their resumes. “Externship” is the program for the girls once they have maxed out of Eureka! since the highest grade for the camp is 10th grade. They are called externs because they are interns for Girls Inc that are sent out to other companies. On Tuesday we went to help out with their training day. My biggest fear was that they will have no interest in what we our saying our in our help. Turned out that should have been the last worry to have. These girls were focused, enthusiastic, and interested in our presence. They’re interest in us as college students and their interest to go to college really showed during the resume revising session.
During the session, I was shocked at how accomplished they were even as high school students. Many were at the top of their classes, worked multiple jobs, had various talents, and had already envisioned their futures. Many girls came up to ask how we liked Duke and how the admission process looked like. Some girls even looked up the Duke website! Of course there were girls who were less interested in both the resume session and us. One of the girls seemed disinterested in finalizing her resume, so I decide to just talk with her. As we started talking about different things, she told me that she is interested in working in the fashion industry, and I told her that my roommate is currently interning at a fashion company. Her eyes sparkled and she said that is exactly what she wants to do. Then, she worried that there was nothing she can do as a high school student to help to pursue that. I tried to encourage her that is probably what my roommate would have thought when she was in high school herself. Still, she probably worked hard to hopefully broaden her opportunities in the future. Luckily, the girl opened up more and let me help her out with her resume.
It is always exciting to see little girls be excited about the future. It is as thrilling if I can help out in their processes.