The aim of this report is to present information on the activities I carried out as an intern at the Misongi College Access Program in Cameroon. I worked a hybrid schedule (a combination of virtual and in-person sessions) under the supervision of Veronique Hob-Hob ’13. The in-person work was a two-week bootcamp, during which I worked with 22 current scholars and nine Misongi alumni.
The first virtual period of my program consisted of material that would be used during and after the bootcamp. I was able to prepare five presentations and introduce ice-breaking games. I made a sight-seeing itinerary that consisted of the coolest spots in and around the capital city. And I prepared Duolingo and SAT classes to help familiarize the scholars to these foreign tests. Finally, I launched a “Meet the Leader” series with the former minister of youth, sports and entrepreneurship of Chad.
I gave lectures on how to study for the SAT and how to navigate Khan Academy and time management strategies. In addition, I further explained topics with which most scholars had difficulties (like conventional sentences-SAT English). At the beginning of the bootcamp, scholars had an average of 100 total questions answered on their Khan Academy accounts. By the end of the bootcamp, they were averaging 250 questions!
For the Duolingo course I gave helpful insights on how to approach the writing and speaking sections of the exam. I also gave a lot of helpful assignments and detailed feedback to the students. As a result, there have been major improvements in the writing and speaking capabilities of the scholars.
When I was asked to come up with a social media plan for Instagram and Facebook to keep postings consistent, I had to gather information from Misongi alumni. This made me uncomfortable as I got no response from some, causing a delay in my regular postings. I was a little discouraged, but my supervisor helped me understand that I could fetch information on the web and not necessarily have to ask people directly. I must admit I fell short in terms of meeting deadlines in this field.
To motivate scholars, I made presentations on deep work (ability to work undistracted), public speaking, creativity and college life (at Williams College) to boost scholars’ morale and help them perform tasks. For example, I made a special presentation for scholars leaving Cameroon for the U.S. and how to quickly adapt. We also had a lot of fun with the physical activity and sightseeing trip, including a soccer game and hike.
To conclude, it was a rewarding experience, as I learned a lot about the professional world. More importantly, I rediscovered my passion for teaching. I am grateful for the support from the Class of 1972. In the same light, I express sincere thanks to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for the work done especially behind the scenes.