This blog is based on a transcript from a video interview with Mateo Riak-Yepez. This has been formatted to fit a blog. All edits that have been made are for legibility purposes only.
Every summer, we are privileged to welcome a fresh wave of interns to the Educator Academy, and this year was no exception. We are thrilled to introduce you to our awesome 2023 interns, Lindsey Jimenez Salazar and Mateo Riak-Yepez, who graced us with their presence this summer. As we bid them farewell and wish them all the success in their upcoming school year, let’s take a moment to learn about their journey with us.
Today we are highlighting our intern Mateo!
Joining us for the first time, Mateo, a sophomore at Ewing Marion Kauffman School, brought a fresh perspective and a zest for learning. As a first-year intern, Mateo embraced the opportunity to dive into the world of education and make the most of his summer experience.
Why were you interested in The Educator Academy for an internship?
Mateo eloquently shared, “I was interested in this [organization] because it most aligns with my desire to become a professional educator, and I thought I could learn more about what it means to be an educator.”
How would you define The Educator Academy culture?
When asked about The Educator Academy’s culture, Mateo described it as, “very friendly and welcoming. It feels like a classroom full of friends, which makes it very pleasant to be around.”
How have you seen yourself grow over the summer or over the time you have been an intern with us?
Reflecting on his journey, Mateo revealed, “I believe that my experience in this internship has helped me grow my ability to make friends and communicate with others. I have also learned key things about education from viewing the lectures and reading parts of the books stored here.”
Did you feel supported throughout the internship? What was most/least helpful?
Feeling supported is crucial for any intern, and our program ensures just that by connecting them to staff and program participants during the time they are are here. Mateo expressed, “I did feel supported throughout the internship. Simple things like letting me know that I can ask questions or reach out for help, or checking on me while I work helped me feel supported.”
What advice would you give future interns?
To future interns, Mateo offers sage advice: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. The culture here is very welcoming and warm. Whatever you need will be provided.”
“Oh, and a pro tip, there’s a secret side door entrance.”
If you could change anything about your internship experience what would it be and why?
For Mateo he didn’t have anything he would change but rather his process to get here. “Honestly, the only thing I would change doesn’t have to do with this year’s internship. What I would change is the fact that I didn’t sign up for this internship sooner. That’s how much I loved this experience.”
What are your upcoming goals and how can we help you meet them?
Looking ahead, Mateo shares his aspirations: “My current goals are to take as many opportunities to help others as possible. I want to find volunteering opportunities or any events that feed into my desire to learn.”
What was your favorite part or what is a moment that has stuck with you during this time?
Sometimes, it’s the simplest moments that leave a lasting impact. Mateo’s favorite memory that stands out: “My favorite moment during this internship was the day that I was waiting for my ride, and we all got together next to one of the tables and I asked “what should I address you as?” and they all stated their first names. This stuck with me because I realized that I was not only a student here, I was a co-worker, and I felt more comfortable and confident.”
At The Educator Academy, we’re committed to supporting Mateo in achieving his goals by providing him with guidance, resources, and connections to make a positive impact.
Mateo’s journey at the Educator Academy is one of self-discovery, growth, and meaningful connections.
We are immensely grateful to both Lindsey and Mateo for their contributions and dedication throughout their time with us. Their insights, enthusiasm, and commitment to growth have enriched our community and programs in countless ways. We can’t wait to see the impact they continue to make in the world of education.