Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have. At Children Beyond Our Borders, fighting against social injustices and providing opportunities for children and youth affected by armed conflict is what we’re all about. Ever wondered how you can help? There are many ways to support and get involved.
Our interns have already been hard at work this Summer to keep Children Beyond Our Borders running smoothly. Along with this internship, though, many of our bright young minds are pursuing other opportunities as well. Here is a showcase of some of the Summer plans for our new and returning interns!
Our interns will continue to work hard this Summer to ensure that we are successful in the mission of Children Beyond Our Borders, but we hope that all of them enjoy their Summers as well! CBOB also wishes all of our wonderful supporters and readers an amazing Summer, and we hope that you have some exciting plans as well!
CBOB would like to introduce some of our new and returning interns this Summer 2019! With a lengthy application process, including an interview led by members of our leadership team, we are happy to welcome some of the brightest, talented, and dedicated people to our family! These selected individuals will be giving their time throughout this summer to bring their best to CBOB and transform our organization into something better!
Here is an inside look at five of our VIPs this summer!
Arianna Arcenas, Public Relations and Social Media Intern
Arianna is a second-year Sociology major under a pre-med track. Being trilingual and having the ability to play multiple instruments, she can’t wait to meet and work with everyone in the CBOB family while being able to help and volunteer in the Gainesville community by spreading the message with social media!
Chantal Alvarez, Public Relations and Social Media Intern
Chantal is a fourth-year Telecommunications major. She is extremely excited to gain experience in the public relations and social media field while meeting new people at the same time! Not only is she passionate about the field of communications, but she also carries a passion in cooking and hiking!
Kenna Rudominer, Public Relations and Social Media Intern
Kenna is a fourth-year Criminology and Psychology double-major. Having already earned her AA degree in high school, she is actually able to finish her undergrad at UF in only two years; however, her education doesn’t stop there because she plans to attend graduate school for Forensic Psychology! She looks forward to spreading the message of empowerment through education and expanding outreach using social media.
Shreya Chapyala, Mentor Coordinator
Shreya is third-year microbiology major with a minor in Economics under the pre-med track. She is one of our younger interns this summer, being only nineteen years old, and has actually done most of her education in India! She’s looking forward to working my hardest to get these children one step closer to the life and happiness they desire and deserve. “It is each and every one of our responsibilities as a member of the global community to lend a helping hand in any way we can and I hope to do that this summer!”
Elana Sieck, Training Coordinator
Elana is a third-year International Studies major, which is fittingly so because she is actually learning Russian! She is actually one of our returning interns and is looking forward to continuing her work as a Training Coordinator and being a part of CBOB.
Our interns have already been working incredibly hard to make sure we have a successful summer together and we are so glad to have them on our team! Let us have an amazing summer!
Our Bound For Peace trips every year to Colombia have so much to offer for a variety of reasons. Being in an unfamiliar place may be scary, but many of our past interns and volunteers who have gone in years past are so grateful that they participated in our Bound For Peace program and would encourage anyone who is dedicated, interested in giving back, and giving a brighter future to kids to go for more reasons than not. Here are just a few reasons why:
Many potential volunteers and interns have never been to Colombia before, so this is a perfect opportunity to visit a new place! Our Bound For Peace programs explore famous landmarks of the country and participate in many outdoor activities.
Throughout this trip, you’re able to make some of the most amazing friendships! Not only are you able to bond with the children in these programs, but you’re able to make lasting friendships with other volunteers. Meeting the people within the city become like family as well!
When visiting Colombia through our trips, you’re able to experience the culture. This includes new foods, local celebrations and the language!
Among all of these amazing reasons, the most rewarding reason why anyone and dedicated students should come on one of our Bound for Peace trips is because of the incredible impact you’ll have on the lives of others. Being able to make a difference in so many young girls lives alongside others with similar passions, makes our trips one of the best trips you’ll be able to experience! So many of our past members who have gone on the trips recommend them to anyone and were so sad to leave!
Maria Aguila, a past intern from 2017, rejoined us again this semester. Find out why.
My name is Maria Aguila, a public relations intern, and I am here to tell you that VIP is one of the best internships I could ever have imagined being part of. Aside from numerous opportunities for self-growth, this nonprofit allows you to help others through hands-on experiences. When I interned with this nonprofit back in Fall 2017, my heart was touched by all the amazing children I had the opportunity of helping. Some of my favorite memories include tutoring children in math, english and science, and raising money for impoverished children.
I recently came back to the program this semester. The two semesters I spent away from the program made me realize how much I missed it. CBOB became a part of me, and that is why I am back. It has inspired me to be a better person and I carry that inspiration with me throughout my daily life.
VIP has opened my eyes to the nonprofit field.
With positions available in grant writing, finance, public relations and more, interns are able to gain a comprehensive view of the ins and outs of this industry. It can as virtual or as hands on as you would like to be. From workshops, weekly tutoring and mobile clinics, there is always a way to get involved.
As an intern, you work primarily with the director and other interns in your department. The overall goal of CBOB’s internship program is to encourage and empower our interns by providing life skills that can prepare them for a successful future. With strict weekly meetings and a team of directors to oversee the interns, I was treated like an employee and given real responsibilities. If you are for a position where you are not just doing busy work to add a meaningless line to your resume, this is the organization for you. We focus on teaching our interns to be the best they can be by assigning them responsibilities that aren’t just easy, but make you step out of your comfort zone. At CBOB, it is our mission to educate and empower youth, and our interns are a vital part of making this goal happen.
Apply today. Applications close April 16 at midnight.
CBOB is so excited to welcome our new and returning interns to our team this Spring! As we celebrate our sixteenth year of service, we are thrilled to have our interns join us.
We hope our interns uphold our mission through volunteer work.
To become apart of our VIP program within CBOB, potential interns have to take part in a lengthy selection process spearheaded by our leadership team! Our leadership team looks for the best candidates to continue to uphold our organization's mission and values.
After applying, applicants went through two rounds of interviews and were also asked to perform a task specific to their respective position. Throughout this process, CBOB was able to get a gauge on how applicants would work if selected to be apart of our program! Only those applicants who demonstrated work ethic, passion for our mission and eagerness to learn more about our program and giving back were selected to join our team.
Our interns within our program hold various interests ranging from non-profit work to digital design to biology and more which helps us keep diversity within CBOB and allow us to view the future of our organization through different perspectives. The future of CBOB and empowering children through education couldn't be done without our interns!
Here's more information on some of our interns and who they are!
Aldren Collins, Community Outreach Intern
I chose to join CBOB because it allowed me to giveback to the local community and make an impact on students' lives. I attend the University of Florida and I am majoring in international studies. A fun fact about me is that I once had a pet squirrel.
Anna Baringer, Data & Analytics Intern
I am an economics and political science student at the University of Florida. I joined CBOB because I want to work in a sector that makes an impact in my community, and CBOB seemed like a good introduction to the nonprofit sector. A fun fact about me is that I am pretty good at (and kind of addicted to) Minesweeper.
Nora Kassis, Community Outreach Intern
I go to the University of Florida and my major is nutritional sciences. I joined CBOB because I love working with kids and wanted to get directly involved in making a difference to the kids in my Gainesville Community. A fun fact about me is that I can speak Arabic!
Tashi Heran, Community Outreach Intern
I study biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida. A fun fact about me is that I've ridden an elephant. I chose to join CBOB because I love working with kids.
I go to Florida State University and I am majoring in family and child sciences. I joined CBOB because I love what CBOB stands for, giving children in Latin American countries a chance at a greater future through education, an dI wanted to be a part of such an amazing organization. A fun fact about me is that three years ago for my 18th birthday, I went skydiving.
Abigail Carden, Mentor Coordinator
I joined CBOB because I believe in the importance of education and the power that it has, and I am excited to further CBOB's mission. I am a student at the University of Florida majoring in Biology. A fun fact about me is that my favorite animal is a honey bee.
Elana Sieck, Training Coordinator
My major is International Studies with a minor in Russian. A fun fact is that I have gone skydiving. I go to the University of Florida and I joined CBOB because I enjoy public service and I love how CBOB is helping children around the world. I attached a picture to this email.
Jessica Diana, Mentor Coordinator
My major is Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, and I attend UF. A fun fact about me is that I make really good fried rice.I joined CBOB because I believe in it’s mission—to use education to empower. Everyone, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status, should have the resources and opportunities to strive for their goals.
Aimie Hok, Community Outreach
I joined CBOB to learn more about myself and what I can do while also giving back to my community in a fun and a collaborative way! I go to the University of Central Florida and I'm studying biology. A fun fact about me is that I've been to most of the US states!
Alexandra Gagliano, Social Media & Public Relations
I am a student at the University of Florida double majoring in telecommunications and dance. I joined CBOB because of its mission statement. Education is power and I'm proud to be apart of an organization that empowers so many children through education! A fun fact about me is that I'm also a French citizen!
Our interns have already been working so hard and have gotten involved in the organization and the community. We can't wait to see what each of them accomplishes within this semester!
By Madelyn Brenner
I didn’t know what to think when I signed up for my Bound for Peace trip to Medellin, Colombia last summer. I was excited, but also nervous at the thought of being in an unfamiliar place. The trip was incredible, and the memories will last a lifetime, making it difficult to put it into words, but I have tried to compile just a few reasons everyone should experience a Bound for Peace Trip!
1. Experience a new place
Even if you’ve been to Colombia before, our Bound for Peace trips explore famous landmarks of the country! I was so excited to visit Guatapé, a landmark of Colombia and particularly Medellin. The view from the top of the exhausting climb was incredible, and I will forever remember the rush I felt after climbing all of those stairs!
2. Try new foods
Besides the amazing coffee, I was able to try many yummy foods that I had never tasted before. Some of my favorites included pandequeso and the Lulo pops I bought near where we volunteered.
3. Make amazing friendships
Besides the adorable girls we worked with, the ladies I traveled with were super fun to spend my two weeks with, and we were able to build lasting relationships. We also met the scholars that the IAMCBOB program serves.
4. Experience local celebrations
One of the most amazing parts of my trip was visiting the Fería de los Flores, or parade of flowers! The flower creations that city residents carried on their backs for miles were breathtaking! It was an experience I will never forget!
5. Make a difference in the lives of others
The best part of my Bound for Peace trip was feeling like I had made a tangible difference in the lives of others. Planning workshops that we thought the girls would enjoy each day was such a fun experience and watching them come to fruition in person was amazing! I would recommend this trip to everyone for the joy of seeing big smiles on the girls’ faces each day! The saddest part was leaving while they cried and hugged us goodbye!
Take a chance and sign up for a Bound for Peace trip today! I can guarantee you won’t regret it!
By Abby Sommer
Are you interested in Graphic Design? Have you ever wanted to create a logo, brand design, or social media event post for a company but don’t know where to start? As a graphic design student at the University of Florida, I have been taught professional design programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, however, not all of us have the time nor energy to teach ourselves how to use such complicated programs. That’s where the website Canva comes in. Canva is a program that allows the user to design anything from event flyers to book covers to marketing materials.
Once you create an account and sign in, Canva provides a toolbar with a list of different options to help you curate your design experience. You can search templates, see designs that were shared with you by other users, and save specific colors and fonts to your company’s account via the “Your brand” tab. Then below, you can create folders organizing your designs into specific categories in order to keep your brand organized.
In the actual design window, there are countless ways to be creative with your work. Once a template has been selected, the user basically has complete control over every element of it. Among some of the most basic controls the user has are changing the color scheme, font style, and altering the text and background elements. Canva also offers free images, illustrations, shapes, lines, and frames to give the user complete creative freedom with their design. And if the site doesn’t have something you need, you can upload your own images, fonts, and layouts. All of these features combined with simple, easy to understand controls, allow the user to user to create the design of their dreams.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time working with Canva thus far. if you’re strapped for time or have hit a roadblock with your design, it offers an easy way to jumpstart your brain and get the creative juices flowing. I definitely recommend Canva to anyone who is new in the design world, or simply wants to better their skills and eye.
Abby Sommer is a Graphic Design Intern with CBOB. She attends the University of Florida.
By Samantha Knight
There are times when quitting is simply not an option.
This is coming from someone who is a serial quitter. There are countless unfinished novels stored on my flashdrive; I regularly start cleaning my house and then stop halfway through, distracted by some lost item uncovered while sweeping under the couch. The dozen clubs I’ve joined (then promptly resigned from) may also be worth mentioning.
This, however, was different.
I was six months out of college when I was hired to teach 8th grade English at a middle school near my hometown. I knew it wouldn’t be easy--I was told by fresh and veteran teachers alike that the first year is the most difficult. In the interview, I was told that this was no exception--in fact, this might be especially difficult. These were good kids, I was told, but they were given a terrible lot. Three months into the school year, and already two to three teachers had been unable to stay. Various subs passed through the classroom as well. The students had no structure, and had gotten used to anarchy in the classroom. They were the only consistent ones in there.
They were like foster children that were continuously passed from teacher to teacher. To cope with the constant abandonment, they decided they owned the class. It was the teachers who walked into their territory.
While teaching, there were moments that I, too, thought I might quit like those before me. I brought with me rules; many resisted. In hindsight, I understand that they didn’t really believe I would stay, that I was temporary like the rest. This, combined with the fact that, at twenty-three years old and five foot nothing (I could have passed for one of their peers at a distance), led to a general lack of respect among the wilder ones. Sometimes I came home crying and ready to call my principal, saying I couldn’t control the class like I wanted, students didn’t want to listen, I just couldn’t do this anymore.
I didn’t call. I knew that if I quit now, the next teacher would have no hope. And neither would the students.
I stuck it out.
Deep down, these kids wanted structure. They wanted someone to be consistent, no matter how rocky the classroom became, no matter how new or young the teacher was. I received a note on the last day of class from one of my most “problem” students. It read:
Thank you for staying when no one else would. Thank you for being my teacher.
I’m extremely glad I did stay.
And now, in August, I will be entering my second year, new tools in my belt and skills I’ve picked up. The struggle of the first year has made me a more patient, confident, and empathetic person...and, I believe, a much better teacher.
To anyone who is entering their first year teaching, or wants to be a teacher, know this: what they say is true. It’s not easy. Not in the slightest. But, believe me, it is worth it in the end, and it will become easier. Even if you feel you are trying your best to no avail, I promise that your presence is far better than your absence. Keep going.
By Teagan Murphy
Education is a bedrock for cultivating success. At Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. we run by the motto “Education = Empowerment” because we recognize the importance of education in empowering students and communities and in cultivating success. While a degree does not define you, receiving an education often brings you closer to achieving your goals, reaching your dreams, and understanding the world around you. We commonly agree in the United States that education is key to maintaining economic well-being and unlocking upward mobility. However, we often fail to acknowledge and effectively close the educational achievement gap that exists between students of different socioeconomic statuses: a gap that leaves poor and/or nonwhite children behind.
Countless studies and research articles show discrepancies between white students and nonwhite students in regard to reading and math proficiency, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment. We also find similar discrepancies between poor and nonpoor students. It is easy to trace the roots of the gap back to a history of inequality in the United States that kept nonwhite, especially Black, children in poor communities and either out of formal education or in separate, low-quality institutions. However, there are several issues today that keep the achievement gap in place, even if separation and discrimination are no longer legally enforced. Modern day segregation in schools is one of these issues. Despite the number of years that have passed since the end of formal segregation, there is still minority concentration in schools, with some schools hosting a majority of white students and other schools hosting a majority of black or overall minority students. This is largely a result of continued residential segregation and persistent concentrated poverty in predominantly black, Hispanic, and Native American communities. School zones often keep students within these communities, maintaining the separation between low-income minority students and higher-income white students. Going further, poorer schools and schools that host primarily minority students often receive less funding (contradictory to what you might expect) and employ less-competent staff members, which can prevent the school from providing more adequate instruction and engaging opportunities. This brings out average lower scores for standardized tests and lower graduation rates for these schools.
Other factors in these segregated communities also contribute to the achievement gap. A sense of social support and belongingness within the school community is a primary factor. When students feel supported by their communities – their teachers, faculty members, parents, peers, and other community members – they are more likely to perform better in school. Low-income students report feelings of lower social support and belongingness, and these students are more likely to perform poorly and even drop out. Low-income communities overall also have a different culture and climate than higher-income communities. Parents are less likely to be involved because they are more likely to work more hours or work jobs with fewer opportunities for time off, and a lack of parent involvement translates to a lack of social support. Low-income communities are also more likely to have higher rates of crime, and a lack of security and safety in a community contributes to low school performance. A lack of access to mental health resources within a community can also contribute to the achievement gap. Research indicates that a significant proportion of children face emotional disorders, that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more vulnerable to emotional difficulties, and that these emotional difficulties are capable of hindering educational achievement.
Outside of income status and community resources, the presence of hidden bias in a community can also contribute to the achievement gap for students of color. Along with a gap in achievement, research indicates a gap in discipline, with students of color receiving disproportionately high rates of discipline (detentions, suspensions, expulsions) compared to white students. Constant discipline can not only cause a student to fall behind, bringing down grades and test results and potentially putting them off track to graduate – but it can also cause a decline in motivation, which can stifle improvement and worsen one’s work ethic. Rather than resulting merely from these students exhibiting more problematic behaviors as a result of their communities, it is quite possible that hidden bias causes these students to be punished more quickly and more often than white students despite the offense. Even when controlling for different factors, such as the income status of the students or the offense committed, research shows that minority students are punished more often and more severely than white students. Further research also indicates teachers are more likely to monitor the behaviors of black students compared to other students, and label similar behaviors as delinquency among their black students.
When students come to expect discipline as a daily occurrence, they are less likely to feel a sense of social support from their school communities. When teachers have low expectations for students, the students are less likely to perform well, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. This logic can be extended: when communities have low expectations for their youth, the youth will follow suit, creating another self-fulfilling prophecy. This goes for youth in struggling communities and youth who face bias and discrimination in more well-off communities. However, the self-fulfilling prophecy can be applied positively. When students receive social support and are held to higher expectations, they are more likely to perform well in school.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, we at CBOB believe that Education = Empowerment. It is our stance that every child, regardless of social status, race, or gender, deserves a proper education. We recognize the barriers that young children within our own country face in succeeding in the classroom, which led to the launch of our domestic program, Children Within Our Borders, in 2015. We also recognize the barriers that low-income and nonwhite students face in reaching for higher education as a result of the achievement gap. That is why, in spring of 2018, we launched our College Prep Mentoring Program. Through this program, we aim to bridge the educational achievement and college success gaps between students of varying socioeconomic statuses by providing low-income and traditionally underrepresented students with college prep mentors who guide them through the college application process. We hope to not only bring further awareness to the issue, but also join a force of upcoming initiatives aimed at narrowing an ultimately closing the educational achievement gap.
Teagan Murphy is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She is double majoring in Family, Youth & Community Sciences and Sociology. She is CBOB's Mentorship Director.