Maye McPhail ’22.5

Lit, Boston, MA

With support from the Case Internships for Entrepreneurship, I spent this summer at Lit Learning Inc., an education technology startup on a mission to make quality instruction available to K-12 students globally. Lit Learning uses innovative digital approaches to deliver educational materials to students in developing countries without consistent access to in-person school, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in this meaningful work.

I assisted Lit Learning’s team with the launch of their newest program, Chatac, a text-based learning platform that allows girls in Afghanistan to access online education amidst tremendous political hurdles. Currently, more than 1.1 million girls in Afghanistan are not able to attend secondary school: Chatac allows these girls to complete coursework from a mobile phone with just the click of a button. Students only need a smartphone and a basic cellular connection to receive self-paced schoolwork through WhatsApp, removing some of the most common barriers to school access. During my internship, I was able to shape the early evolution of Chatac by collaborating with the production and design teams on content development and front-end implementation. While drafting language for grants and donor pitches, I came to understand the need for inventive approaches to girls’ education and am proud to have contributed to the educational empowerment of women worldwide.

Each day with Lit Learning brought exciting challenges and opportunities as I worked with an international team to solve some of the most pressing issues in global education. Headed by Mati Amin ’12, Lit Learning’s team includes organizational leaders from multiple continents with expertise in curriculum design, software development and business organization. I interfaced with many of these leaders weekly and helped to streamline communication between multiple arms of the company while writing short online materials to facilitate software implementation. The support of my supervisors and coworkers was instrumental to my success throughout the internship, and I grew tremendously in my professional development while bolstering my skill set in communications. During my internship, I found myself drawing on skills I developed throughout my time at Williams in my coursework and extracurricular activities. Additionally, I feel my focus as an English major served as a strong foundation for the communication and writing aspects of my work, and I plan to take on more challenges in the future that honor my commitment to lifelong learning.

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Case and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for making my summer with Lit Learning possible. This experience has been instrumental in my career development, and I am grateful as always for the support of the Williams alumni network. I would also like to thank Mati Amin ’12 for providing such wonderful mentorship and serving as an example in his dual role as business leader and educational advocate. I am excited to follow the progress of Lit Learning as it works to expand education access worldwide.