University Virtual Summer Internship
During the summer of 2020, Team4Tech partnered with Middlebury College, Dartmouth College, and the University of California at Davis to provide a unique and impactful virtual summer internship for students interested in ed tech. The internship cohort included 17 students who worked with three of our nonprofit partners: the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Rwanda, Centre for Youth and Development in Malawi, and the Dignitas Project in Kenya.
The Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology (GGAST) is a boarding school for 270 girls located in the Gashora Sector of Rwanda. Their vision is for their students to become inspired young leaders filled with confidence, a love of learning, and a sense of economic empowerment to strengthen their communities and foster Rwanda’s growth. Team4Tech’s university interns worked on three different projects with GGAST: they mentored groups of Gashora students working on their science and technology-focused capstone projects, many of which were designed to tackle social issues; they conducted tech workshops on coding in Python, CAD, data analysis, R Studio, and video game development; and they also mentored rising seniors on the college search, selection, and application process.
The Centre for Youth and Development in Malawi leverages the talent and potential of young people by providing them access to ICT to enable innovation and development. They collect used and refurbished computers with preloaded educational software and install them in schools. They also train teachers on how to integrate the technology into their classrooms to expand their impact. Team4Tech’s university interns collaborated with CYD staff and teachers from CYD’s partner schools to identify digital content that aligns with their chemistry, physics, and biology curricula. The interns presented their content research and also developed a teacher’s guide for how to access and use the content on CYD’s digital education resource platform, Kolibri.
Dignitas Project identifies and supports emerging leaders within schools and communities in Kenya. Staff provides school leaders with professional development, onsite coaching, and technical assistance in order to develop the skills needed to manage and lead a high performing, dynamic, and accountable organization for children and families. Team4Tech’s university interns researched and produced guidance on best practices for user engagement, tracking, and assessment that will be used by Dignitas to deliver its training and coaching program online.
Team4Tech’s Program Directors led the interns through our leadership development curriculum, which has been developed to introduce and give them structured opportunities to practice five key leadership capabilities that our tech company partners have identified as being critical for their employees to thrive: customer-centric innovation, communication and collaboration, decision-making amidst ambiguity, growth mindset, and DEI. In addition, we brought in guest speakers every week to provide cultural context and greater personal connection to the work and solutions that the interns were working to develop. Finally, the interns also were able to collaborate with Team4Tech’s professional network, including volunteers and supporters from Cisco and Coursera.
The overall impact produced by the interns for our nonprofit partners was significant, and the challenging professional experience – the first for many of the interns – was an important personal development opportunity. Team4Tech looks forward to expanding this internship program in 2021 and beyond.