RAP's YouthVoiceNYC Intern, Samuel, has some wisdom to impart on NYC youth looking to apply for this position next year! See what advice he has to offer...
After spending a year being a part of RAP's staff, I have three main take-aways to share:
1. Keep An Open Mind
When I first came to the Resilience Advocacy Project and was a Youth Advisory Council member, I remember having a closed mindset. In this, I mean that I would only be mindful of issues that affected me at the time. In my Bronx school, I only considered the issues present in my location, not having much of an open mind for issues that affected youth all around New York City. Hearing the voices of young people all across the five boroughs, even Staten Island, I learned that there are lots of unique perspectives when looking at an issue. As an intern, it’s important to keep an open mind and be respectful of what others say. You may not feel comfortable with every idea you hear, especially if they seem too risky. However, when you’re working with many talented minds, you realize some people do take risks; do not be afraid to do the same.
2. Be Diligent
The Youth Advisory Council is very busy! Making sure that you are on top of your work as a YouthVoiceNYC intern is essential to the organization of the council. Planning a campaign means that you will be get experience reaching out to other organizations, planning meeting agendas, and leading biweekly YAC meetings. This may sound scary, but I promise it’s not! If you are organized and hard-working, you will not be surprised with what you see here. Attending meetings are very important. If there are times that you are not able to make it, it is essential that you inform the RAP staff. There were times I was sick and was not able to come in, or even times I had exams. What I absolutely admired about the RAP team was the level of confidence and support that they invest in you; as an intern they always encouraged me to put school first. If you have exams coming up or other school responsibilities, it is important to find ways to balance that with your commitments as an intern. You have to be diligent in managing your schedule.
3. Have Passion For Your Work
Ever been in a group with a person who does not cooperate? Or that you see shows no effort? Surely that frustration was overwhelming. Being the YouthVoiceNYC Intern, I learned that it is important to not only have passion for what you do, but to share that passion with your peers. Whenever I came to a YAC meeting, I brought my passion and drive to help energize my peers and to ensure that we were all doing our best work. I always aimed to impress myself with the work that I created, making sure that the ideas I presented were thoroughly thought out and effective. This stems from having a connection that only you can have with your work. Being an intern for YouthVoiceNYC is saying that you are willing to work for the success of a citywide project that will make a difference. Times will come where your mind feels stuck, but that’s the time to take advantage of the great team around you. It is extremely helpful to collaborate and hear other thoughts on your ideas -- it helps you create BETTER ones.
RAP will miss Samuel! Thank you for a great year!