Moringa School, Kenya
This summer I went back to my home country Kenya where I had the privilege of interning at Moringa School—a programming school in Nairobi that seeks to bridge the gap in digital competence in the current job market by equipping its students with relevant technical and professional training. Over six fast-paced months, students learn how to code in either Python for web development or Java for mobile software development. Students also take part in a three-week professional development period where they present their final projects to technology companies, learn how to network, and pitch their ideas. Moringa School has an Access Program which takes in bright but needy students, supports them through the challenging six-month period of the bootcamp, and helps them develop their professional lives after graduation. As a Moringa Access alum myself, I felt obliged to come back to the school and provide technical assistance to these students especially during this pandemic as learning went remote.
Together with my fellow intern (also an Access alum), we helped the team establish a technical assistance program for students. We offered remote office hours so students could easily check in with us and scheduled appointments for students who needed technical assistance outside the office hour times. In addition, we also prepared information sessions for students which covered different topics ranging from academic and internship opportunities abroad to copyright laws and patenting work. Every two weeks, we invited the Moringa Access counselor to hold mental health awareness sessions with the students. We also held online game nights for students which would serve as a fun way to bring students together and help them make friends and connections across the different classes.
Overall, I really enjoyed my internship. Working at Moringa School opened my eyes to the challenges students in my country go through in pursuit of education in technology. I also had a firsthand experience of the implications of the digital illiteracy gap that our education system fails to fill. However, it was a fulfilling experience to see students from similar backgrounds as myself flourish through the challenging Moringa School bootcamp. I was always happy to help where I could, and I enjoyed working with a supporting and proactive Access team. Managing the program was a bit hard since I had no project management experience, but I am happy that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and had a rewarding experience establishing and running the Giving Back Program. I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and the Fox Internship for enabling this amazing experience. I would have never had this opportunity without your support, I am truly grateful.