This is not the end – Emma Polen

Over 50 hours later, I have learned so much about intercultural communication and tried so many new things through my semester internship with Literacy Pittsburgh.

I connected my two internship responsibilities – English Language Learning classroom aide and marketing assistant – with a promotional video where ELL students spoke about why Literacy Pittsburgh was important to them. It was funny to interact with these students in front of the camera. I, a native English speaker, seem to forget my entire vocabulary when I step in front of a recording camera. Imagine doing this now as a non-native English speaker! This project was an exciting challenge, using my experience in both parts of my internship to create a meaningful end product 

While I’m a teaching aide, I’m always learning from the ELL students, too. Parasol, I learned, literally means para sol, or “for sun” in Spanish. Even though my first language is English, these students brought their own perspective and taught me more about English!

This is not the end of my time exploring diverse cultures with my career. I am pleased to announce that my marketing experience with Literacy Pittsburgh landed me a public relations internship this summer with Pipitone, a local integrated marketing agency. The connections I made at the nonprofit may even allow me to return as a full-time employee at Literacy Pittsburgh after I complete my undergraduate degree. I would not consider returning if I did not believe in the nonprofit’s mission of positively changing families’ lives through education, or if I did not make meaningful friendships with the people I met along the way.


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