Industry: Education
Type of Internship: Education: Teaching/Training/Lesson Planning, Event Planning/Management, Human Services/Social Work
Student Name: Lorenzo Salgado
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: None
Position Title: Alumni Affairs and Parent Communication Intern
Hours: 30 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Unpaid but receiving Career Center grant, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?
Much of the work done with SWAG is on Google Drive. We work collaboratively to create documents ranging from writing yearly reports, creating curriculum related to the college application process, facilitating communication between mentors and their mentees, and providing/creating resources. I have completed four projects within the Alumni Affairs and Mentor Domains. I was responsible for revising and overhauling a detailed monthly timeline/checklist for students in 9th-12th grades to help prepare become competitive college applicants. As a team, we adapted the curriculum in the form of monthly PowerPoint presentations for high school clubs. I used my experience from my complicated transition to Tufts to complete a College Freshman Fall/Spring Check-in guide that touches on budgeting, time management, and mental/physical health.
I accepted a larger role within the Parent Communications Department where we focus on engaging parents to have an active role in their child's academics. I work with a group of three other interns in creating and translating resources for parents of high school students. Additionally, I communicate directly with parents to introduce them to SWAG and serve as a liaison for any of their questions or concerns.
How did you find this internship?

Post on EMERGE Fellowship Facebook group.

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

It is an unfortunate reality that many students from underfunded communities with the goal of attending college are unable to fulfill their dreams. SWAG to College seeks to bridge the resource gap these students face by pairing them with a motivated mentor from a similar background that has undertaken the college process themselves. Mentors themselves are college level students, many of which are former SWAG to College mentees, volunteer their time to give back to their communities. It is incredibly inspiring to be in a place where people are more than willing to go the extra length for something they are so passionate about. Working with the whole SWAG to College team inspires me to be a better person every day.

What do you find challenging?

Working in education outreach, you must place yourself in the perspective of students who may not be as passionate about higher education as you were. I had to consider my own privileges when discussing ideas for projects and how those projects would be executed, then later sell the idea of college education to a student whose parents may be antagonizing their prospects for higher education, for example.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

Much like college, an internship at SWAG to College is really what you make out of it. I’ve been able to form close bonds with a group of passionate individuals that extends beyond our small office space. The true sense of fulfillment at SWAG comes from your own diligent work. It’s easy to become complacent in a place where the impact of your work is more abstract than concrete. However, the times you can connect with the people that your projects will help serves as an incredible reminder of the passion to see students succeed.

About the Organization

SWAG to College
Houston, Texas

Our mission is to provide near-peer mentorship for underserved high school and college students to help them matriculate to college, graduate from college, and enter the workforce.