Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photo Essay

I love the look of the Institute for Peace & Justice. This is the Rotunda, the main entrance to the IPJ.

These are some of the students who came across the border from CETYS Universidad, a high school in Tijuana. On the far left is Alan del Callejo, a summer intern and moderator.
Who dat Program Coordinator? Karla Alvarez, head of WorldLink and the reason this whole thing gets done, holds her flowers as Clint Akarmann and Kaylen Dornan (closing speakers and interns), Amruta Trivedi (also an intern), Milburn Line (Executive Director of the IPJ) and Rachel Jensen (founder of Girls Think Tank) applaud her.
Rachel Jensen spoke at the closing plenary. She's a great speaker and founder of Girls Think Tank, a local organization that seeks to alleviate poverty and other problems in San Diego.

Marissa Wong (moderator), Karla Alvarez and I smile at a job well done. This was at the end of the day, when we were all pretty ready to rest.

Thank you Nancy K. Muñoz and Kaylen Dornan for these photos.

Friday, January 29, 2010


What qualities or characteristics did you see in the people around you that you want to develop yourself? Why?

It's an incredible environment here at the Institute for Peace & Justice and at WorldLink. Everyone is respectful of everyone else as we all push for Peace and Justice in our own ways. At WorldLink, we strive to make youth aware of the problems our world faces. One main characteristic I would like to emulate is support. Everyone here supports each other. For the Youth Town Meeting, which was WorldLink's event, everyone at the IPJ came together to make it happen. They all poured support into the losgistics and running of the YTM, and it turned out great because of everyone's support. We all respect each other's departments, projects, and programs because we know they're all great ways of making the world a better place, inspiring people to make a difference, and directly aiding those who need help.

What new questions has my internship inspired me to ask about our world? What has it made me wonder about? What am I moved to go out and do or learn about on my own time?

Seeing that there is so much struggle in the world and so many people going through poverty, my internship has made me wonder why there isn't more of an outreach from everyone who is able to help the world in some way. At the same time, it's made me realize that there's a TON of effort by many people to better the lives of others and bring peace to the world. Many people in San Diego do this in greatly different ways. So I am moved to continue the struggle for peace and justice in a vaiety of different ways.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

POL Preparation Process

Fellow intern Kelsey Miller and I gave the opening speech for the Youth Town Meeting, and that counts as our POL, which is nice. It was met with great appraisal and we were showered with compliments. We also felt very confident as we spoke to the masses.

Kaylen and I will each talk with our mentor, Karla, and reflect on the POL questions covered in the rubric. Here are my answers to three of the questions in the blog post:

How did I make a meaningful contribution to my workplace?

I always try to put a positive attitude forward and follow instructions closely. At WorldLink, Kaylen and I have found that as well as follow instructions, it is critically important that we bring our own creativity and experiences to the workplace. Keeping in mind the WorldLink slogan of "Connecting Youth to Global Affairs," we know that we, the youth, will play a critical role in peacemaking. I put forward my youthful optimism and I make sure to keep the drive going on our mission to connect young people with things happening all around the world.

How was my work significant or meaningful to the world beyond school or my internship site?

When Joan B. Kroc gave USD a huge grant to start the Institute for Peace & Justice, she did so with the instructions to found an institute that would not only talk about peace, but work toward making it real. With the WorldLink program, we work toward one aspect of that: Connecting youth to global affairs. In this way, through Youth Forums in which people who work toward peace in real life talk with youth; the Youth Leader position which allows local youth to build their leadership skills and find opportunities to help the world; and the Annual Youth Town Meeting, which brings together over 700 young people from Southern California and Mexico to learn about and discuss the year's topic (this year, Development: Fighting Global Poverty). Hearing feedback from students who attended this year's Youth Town Meeting last Friday, I am so thrilled that we got to be a part of inspring youth and making them realize that they really can make a difference, as many have said. The Youth Town Meeting is the first key step in the fight for a cause: becoming aware, and educating yourself on some parts of the topic. I'm really incredibly glad that now, some more local youth are inspired to make a difference and are armed with the first tools to begin the journey. Because we youth are very important in the fight against poverty. With our fresh solutions, enthusiasm, and will to help, I'm pretty sure we'll make a lot of changes on the poverty front--some of us already are.

The WorldLink Reader, which fellow intern Amruta Trivedi and I edited in the Fall, is a great tool for students to pursue their passion for being a Global Citizen by learning about many of the problems that so many poeple living in poverty face. I'm proud that I've gotten to be a part of this great program.

How did my project go from an idea or inspiration to a final product?

What was the Youth Town Meeting? Before I started here, I just knew it was a large yearly gathering of youth to talk about the year's topic. Students would go away inspired and equipped to start helping the world. The 13th Annual WorldLink Youth Town Meeting, for me, started with editing the Reader. The summer interns (like Kaylen) had written up summaries for many articles relating to their particular topics, and it was Amruta's and my job to edit them and polish them off (as well as add some introductions). This was what attendees of the Youth Town Meeting would read before coming. All throughout internship, we've been preparing for the Youth Town Meeting. I wrote an appeal to the Gates Foundation to come and speak after they had refused (they said no again, but oh well), we communicated with lots of schools about coming to the meeting, and helped put together the program. Kaylen and I made the nametags, stuffed tote bags, wrote our own speeches to deliver, and helped with technical stuff. We also helped spread the word about the Youth Town Meeting, facilitated discussion (such as through Facebook), and learned all about the speakers who would be coming to discuss their great work with the young attendees.

On the day of the Youth Town Meeting, I was a little nervous. I wasn't sure how I'd do as a moderator or an opening speaker, and I hoped I'd get the opportunity to help make the Youth Town Meeting great. My opening speech with Kelsey went great, and then it was time to moderate. I would share my moderating duties with another moderator. Our speaker was Paul Bertler, who works at Heifer International on programs that show youth how to grow food and grow a movement. It was very interesting learning about the thigns Heifer does (such as provide livestock to those in need in order to help bring them out of poverty) and Paul Bertler was a really nice guy. The Youth Town Meeting was spectacular and I enjoyed it tremendously. I'm so happy when I hear that people were inspired and moved to make the global community a better place for many more people.

Monday, January 25, 2010


My internship is actually at a college, the University of San Diego. In terms of how it has affected what I want to do in college, I would really like to study something related to Peace, Conflict Resolution, or the likes. WorldLink is a program of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, which is part of the Kroc School of Peace Studies, which gives USD students the opportunity to learn about attempting to make peace and how conflicts can be resolved. I'm not sure if I'd like to major in this, but it definitely sounds interesting as something to study.

As I've said before, the people at the IPJ are doing something they love and trying to make the world a better place. When I can, I definitely aim to do something that is satisfying, rather than something that just gets me by. This internship has shown me some things about how to communicate effectively when talking about issues of peace and justice, and how different people strive to change the world. At the Institute right now, people are coming back from excursions in Africa and other parts of the world, trying to communicate the message of peace to other countries and getting a feel for the situations in other countries so we can take steps toward successful solution processes.

In college, of course, I will definitely take classes related to the study and processes of peace. Perhaps International Relations or something about diplomacy. I would love to have a job in which I can strive to lend aid to others and improve their lives.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


This past week, when my mentor was making a lot of changes to the speech that another intern and I were writing for the upcoming Youth Town Meeting, I was confused on a couple of things she asked me to change. Thankfully we communicate very well so when I repeatedly asked what she meant by that, I wasn't afraid of sounding ignorant. Because I asked that a lot. I thought it would be necessary, though, and it was, because we ended up with a great speech, shortened to two pages, which we then presented at opening of the Youth Town Meeting to tremendous fanfare and critical acclaim. Thank you, thank you.

First Photo

This is a picture of my with a potted plant in the office. I believe it's a tree. Behind me are the doors to the Institute for Peace & Justice. Behind my head is a computer I sometimes use, and the way I'm looking is down a short hallway which leads to the WorldLink office.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Impressions

I have been interning at WorldLink since September, but here are the impressions I first had compared with my impressions now:

Both at the beginning and now, the Institute for Peace gave me an impression of a lot of friendly, funny people who are very serious about the work they do and are all committed to making the world a better place through their work. That's what's so great about the IPJ: No one is here because they needed something to just pay the bills, build their job resume, or anything like that. That kind of environment is so foreign to the IPJ--everyone is here to help, be a part of this community, and do their best to make the world a better place and improve the quality of life of many many people around the world. The feeling I get from here is that we are a community of people all striving, in our own ways, to reach out a hand to those in need and make a difference.

Now, I feel the positive, vibrant energy much more that we allput forward to get a great result out. It's very cool.

WorldLink's mission is to connect youth to global affairs. At the beignning, I suppose I didn't quite know what this meant; I knew they put on programs and events to inform local youth about what's going on in the world, but now I see more of the extent to which WorldLInk puts in an effort to get youth caring and acting on their compassion. It's inspiring.

New skills I need for this internship include more public speaking and desk work skills, although I feel strong about these already.

I just love WorldLink and the IPJ. It's such a great environment where everyone supports each other and we're working for the greater good. It feels professional and useful every time I'm at hte IPJ. It's a wonderful internship.