News + People
Employee Spotlight: Summer Interns
At Participate Learning, our interns are important parts of our efforts to unite our world through global learning, with each individual bringing a unique skill set and perspective that support their respective departments. We strive to offer an educational and engaging summer internship experience that sets our interns up for success in their future endeavors. Read on to learn more about the backgrounds of each of our summer interns, as well as the impact that Participate Learning has had on them.
Eloise Osborne is working with the teacher experience department as the teacher experience intern this summer. She is a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, and is double-majoring in women and gender studies and global studies, with a concentration in international politics, nation-states, and social movements in the Middle East. She also is pursuing a minor in social and economic justice.
Eloise was initially drawn to Participate Learning because of our mission to unite our world, and is excited to get real-world experience in the field of education. She believes that promoting a well-informed youth through exposure to cultural and global diversity encourages a deeper understanding and appreciation for differences. Her favorite place she has visited is the Galapagos Islands because of their incredible views, marine life, and commitment to environmental conservation.
Gaaron Goldsmith is supporting the teacher resources department as the educational programs and product development intern. He is a rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, and is majoring in political science, with a minor in history. Education has always been a big part of Gaaron’s life as its importance was instilled in him at a young age, so he is passionate about helping others to receive diverse and quality educations like he was able to have.
He believes that Participate Learning’s work is important because it helps bridge the divide between those fortunate enough to have access to resources and opportunities and those who do not. Being exposed to teachers from other parts of the world allows students to experience diverse backgrounds that they might not have otherwise been exposed to, and opens their worlds to new perspectives. Gaaron’s favorite place he has been to is Italy because of the beauty of the country and its food, and he hopes to return one day to see a soccer game.
Bridget Killian is working with the staff services team as the events intern, and is coordinating logistics for arrival and orientation for incoming ambassador teachers. She just finished her graduate degree in political science, with a focus in global environmental governance from a dual program with UNC-Chapel Hill and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Bridget is proud to work for a company that centers its mission around global education because it builds a mutual understanding of others by bringing people together.
She believes that Participate Learning’s work is important because our ambassador teachers authentically expose students and communities in our partner districts to new perspectives that they may have not encountered otherwise. This cultural exchange benefits all involved and fosters empathy, which is desperately needed in today’s world. Her favorite place she has traveled to is Marseille, France, where she ate delicious seafood, learned about the history of the city, and even jumped off a (small) cliff!
Lena Berry is supporting the human resources department at Participate Learning this summer as the human resources intern. She is a student at UNC-Greensboro, and is double-majoring in psychology and sociology, with a concentration in criminology. She was first drawn to work with Participate Learning because of our mission to unite our world.
Lena is inspired by our work to achieve this mission because our programs bring people together who might not normally meet or interact with each other. She believes that it is essential for children to learn about different cultures by listening to someone with a different cultural background than their own, rather than just learning about them through a textbook because it provides genuine, firsthand insight. Her favorite place she has traveled to would either be France or Norway.
Graceann Thilman is working with the admissions and teacher resources departments as the teacher arrival intern. She is a rising sophomore at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and is majoring in public policy and philosophy, with a minor in Spanish. She initially wanted to join the Participate Learning team because she was drawn to the globallyminded environment where different cultures and traditions are valued.
Graceann believes that our work unites our world because of our dedication to fostering better environments in classrooms and local communities through appreciating and celebrating cultural differences. One of her favorite parts of her internship is hearing the unique stories of each of our ambassador teachers as they arrive at the airport. Her favorite place she has traveled to is Comayagua, Honduras, where she got to meet the local people and learn about their ways of life while practicing her Spanish and eating some amazing baleadas and pupusas.
Mary Mac Porter is working with the education programs, product development, and teacher resources departments as the operations and product development intern. She graduated in May from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in business and sports administration. She wanted to work at Participate Learning because she has a passion for education equity, which was sparked through a global emphasis in her early education.
Mary Mac believes our work is important because our ambassador teachers offer diverse perspectives and experiences to classrooms across our network. Their influence provides students with the tools to connect with the world in unique ways by developing them into global leaders. One of her favorite international experiences was her study abroad experience in London, UK, where she was able to explore the city, customs, and sports culture.
Jadah Smith is working with the admissions and teacher resources department as a teacher support intern. Previously, she has also had intern roles that supported creating teacher kits and revising reports. She is a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, and is majoring in media and journalism, with a concentration in graphic design, and minoring in Hispanic studies.
As someone who grew up in a bilingual household with teachers as parents, Jadah aligns with the values of cultural exchange teaching that are central to the work at Participate Learning. She believes that our work unites our world by bringing different cultures and perspectives together, which encourages students to embrace the differences that make us unique. Her favorite place she has traveled to is Toledo, Spain.
We are grateful for the contributions our interns give to Participate Learning, and are proud to watch their growth during their time with us. Read this blog post to learn more about how we value our interns by providing meaningful work experiences. For more information on our cultural exchange efforts, visit our webpage.