KIPP Texas Public Schools, Houston, TX
My name is Sharon Mutoni, and I am currently a junior and math major. I opted to apply to intern through the ASIP fund to work as an intern for KIPP Texas this summer. In the spring, I had previously switched my major from economics to mathematics and was curious about a career in education. I started my internship this summer during the first week of June. I was working remotely and managed to find a nice spot in The Hopper Science Center on campus to utilize. My internship was with KIPP Texas, the state branch of the larger KIPP (The Knowledge is Power Program) organization providing free college-preparatory schools located within low income communities in the United States.
For my first few weeks I learned about the organization as a whole, its mission, vision, and culture. I learned KIPP’s values and the metrics with which they use to see if those values are being demonstrated and shown. I then joined the Teacher Practical Training committee to work towards facilitating the onboarding of new incoming school leaders and principals for the fall semester. As a member of the team, I would track performance of the school leadership in the different schools across Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, and compare them for recognition by KIPP. I also had to consistently track incoming and outgoing school leaders, their career progression (for example being promoted from a school leader to a principal in residence) through Excel and email documentation. I helped to ensure that the language in the guidebooks for teachers and school leaders remained consistent with KIPP’s core values and ensured that they were accessible to readers from all demographics.
I regularly attended meetings where I shared my own input on topics like accessibility, diversity, and how KIPP Texas could work towards becoming an anti-racist organization. Since work was being done online, I attended a lot of meetings and virtual retreats which I created lists of fun break-out activities. In the last few weeks of my internship, I mainly worked in editing, updating, and analyzing the talent map. I also edited the Teacher’s Guidebook and the Texas Relay Residence City Guide. Generally, this internship was very fun and I had a good sense of balance between work and rest which I really appreciated. Working virtually was not hard for me this time around since I had learned to navigate its difficulties the past two semesters and last summer’s internship. My favorite parts of the internship were definitely learning how education in underserved communities is a tool for change, and how organizations can work together to improve children’s wellbeing in and out of school. I hope to work in Rwanda’s education system someday, particularly in mathematics, and this internship was so crucial in driving my future ambitions.