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Home > Teen Blog > October 2018 > Empowered by GOALS Staff
Empowered by GOALS Staff
Posted: 10/15/2018 10:00:00 AM

Intrepid Teen Blog

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by Simone — Summer Intern; GOALS Alum and Past Navigator, 2014

This past week, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Jessie, one of the Intrepid’s new GOALS counselor, as well as a new New York City resident! I wanted to get a fresh perspective on counselor experience, especially for a program as unique and different as GOALS for Girls. Moving here just before the GOALS program started, Jessie was tasked with being able to prepare herself to teach 50 outstanding girls, not realizing that she’d also learn much from them!

Insert Alt TextHow did you hear of GOALS?
I originally applied for a per diem position at the Intrepid because I had heard such good things about the education department. I was moving to New York for graduate school and I thought the Intrepid would be a wonderful place to work! I found the per diem job listing on the official Intrepid website so I applied. When I went in to interview, I was pointed in the direction of the GOALS program because of my background in science. As soon as I talked to Shay I knew it was the program for me!

How did you feel the first day vs. how do you think you’re going to feel on the last?
I was extremely nervous the first day! I didn't know what to expect from the girls, and I was uneasy about how I would teach them the topics for the next six weeks. But despite the nerves, I was excited. I was excited to teach about what I love (science) and to learn alongside the girls about the topics I'm less familiar with. And I'm still excited! And I can't wait to see where their journeys take them!

Where do you think the future of GOALS is headed?
I definitely think GOALS is headed in the direction of technology. We are surrounded by technology everyday, and I think because of that the program will include more activities revolving around technology. Understanding technology is crucial to navigating our modern world, and I think the girls would show a lot of interest in delving deeper into the circuit boards controlling our ever-changing society.

“The chance to come together with like-minded people and explore the world of STEM is such a unique opportunity.”

How has being a counselor impacted you?
I have learned so much from working with the 50 GOALS girls, and the amazing staff and interns that help make the program run smoothly. Honestly, I have never felt more empowered in my life. Being around so many women and young women who are strong in spirit, and with whom I share similar interests and passions is so encouraging.

Do you wish GOALS existed when you were a young girl?

Yes, I would have loved to attend a program like GOALS when I was a young girl! I think the early teenage years is the time of life when it's the hardest to stick to your passions, because they may be seen as "uncool" or "nerdy" or "weird" in the eyes of your peers. The chance to come together with like-minded people and explore the world of STEM is such a unique opportunity. Having that kind of network is amazing, and I hope one day there will be programs like this all over the world!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think the biggest difference between me and the other counselors (other than Julia) is that I didn't grow up in New York, and I moved here right before the program. So something else I've really enjoyed is learning about this city that is still so new to me. It's been a really cool experience for me to be around so many native New Yorkers. I feel like I've learned a lot about the city just from talking to the girls, especially since there are girls from each of the boroughs. And it's been fun ranting with the girls and the staff about commuting issues.

It was really inspiring to know that Jessie felt empowered not only by the other staff members, but also by the GOALS girls themselves. It was also really amazing to learn that Jessie felt that she could connect with the girls and learn from them, whether it was about a topic they were learning for the week or even about New York City itself. Talking with Jessie made me reflect on my time as a GOALS girls and now as an intern; she’s made me realize, as she also said herself, that GOALS not only normalizes the idea of being “nerdy” or “uncool” - because you’re surrounding by other girls who are also stereotypically so - but also the idea that girls can be in STEM. GOALS for Girls is a program that helps nurture and hone in on a girl’s love and ability to appreciate STEM fields and topics and Jessie has taught me that GOALS is just as inspirational to the staff as to the girls because it rekindles and validates her love for STEM.