This Labor Day, Interns 4-Good is celebrating the many essential workers who have put their health on the line to keep our communities running during these difficult times
Our youth artists are honoring the the hard work, dedication, and selflessness of these heroes
Our volunteers have conducted interviews with essential workers across the globe to gain insight into the immense challenges they have faced and overcome
At the height of the COVID-19 crisis, society has been worried about 3 things: socializing, employment, and the economy. Global banks have installed over 50 employees on cue for financial issues and questions, as many rely on client service departments to help us with many issues. Michelle Puccetti, a kind 59 year old client service specialist residing in Washington, has worked in such position and many more in the Columbia bank industry for years. Having worked as a supervisor, assistant manager, manager and trainer, she found that her true calling involved human interaction, which is why she chose to be a client service specialist. Now more than ever, Mrs. Puccetti has been able to be in touch with many of her clients over the phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Puccetti enjoys her job because not only does she get to do what she loves but she has endured many benefits of working for the Columbia bank which have been able to aid her family. Mrs. Puccetti can be described as determined and hardworking-- she works prolonged hours on a daily basis. When askwed about the upcoming 2020 Labor Day, Mrs. Puccetti recalls that she sees Labor Day as just another day off and extra time to spend with family. She expressed, “I love to do my job. One way I can help out is by having information prepared before calling, this way the issue, question or even the withdrawal can get done much quicker and efficiently.”
So I asked myself, what can the younger generation learn from this woman? Hard work, optimism, and determination are just a few of the vast traits. During this global pandemic, it’s important to hold responsibility. I personally look up to Mrs. Puccetti, because despite the difficulties and exhausting days she endures, she always manages to carry a smile and positive energy wherever she goes. And so on this Labor Day, it is our responsibility to show appreciation. Appreciation for our family, friends and our workers, because appreciation is something that can go a long way, especially during a pandemic.
Interview conducted by Barbara W.
Mrs. Morse is a seventh-grade language arts and history teacher at a middle school in Sammamish, Washington. To her, Labor Day is “a day to recognize the hard work of Americans have done to develop and prosper”; it also reminds her of her grandparents! Mrs. Morse enjoys celebrating this holiday outdoors with her family whether it could be a picnic or a boat ride.
Mrs. Morse has considered several other careers before teaching. She was initially interested in advertising in New York City and designing campaigns for larger companies. She started a business major in college, but it wasn’t until she took an impactful history class that she became truly passionate about her career path and inspired to create change through educating young students. Mrs. Morse said, “I felt that it was so important for people - especially young people - to know where they come from and wanted to guide them to contribute to society in purposeful and positive ways.” What she loves most about teaching is not only watching her students grow and produce their hard work, but also when they find purpose and relevance in the content they learn. Mrs. Morse described that her “students are like family”, and parting with her classes every June is the most difficult part of teaching for her. “Teaching - and learning - is always moving, like a river - it changes all the time.”
Despite the barriers of remote schooling and being incredibly busy in preparing and planning, Mrs. Morse has been able to approach this difficult school year with acceptance and optimism; she is determined to continue creating family, celebrate learning, and deliver valuable lessons within her future classes.
Interview conducted by Christina Z.
Originally from Spain, Ms. Palomia works in Singapore as a Spanish teacher. She recently relocated to Dubai for her work, which has caused a difficult challenge of balancing work with her child and online learning. “Having to handle a 2 year old, while giving classes to middle school students is not easy when the 2 year old has nothing to do”. Ms. Palomia has been separated from her husband due to COVID (he was stuck in Spain) but has managed to find activities like puzzles, books and coloring for her daughter to occupy herself. Ms. Palomia believes virtual lessons come with ups and downs. The ups being the simplicity of being able to communicate with her students, and the down being she doesn’t think that many people will be keen to continue due to its lack of efficiency. “I would especially like to thank the students for having sat through this time with us, as we really weren’t prepared for what was coming.” She hopes that in the near future, schools should better consider plans like this and factor it into their training for teachers.
Through this interview, I have learned so much about a teacher’s point of views during these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was also able to comprehend new challenges they faced, such as balancing work with their home lives during a global pandemic. Ms. Palomia has shown me that being a mother alone during these times is not the easiest task, but she would like to emphasize to others in similar situations as her for being strong and handling any obstacle in their way. We are all in this together!
Interview conducted by Chloe P.
Mrs. Rouby, a Greek and French teacher residing in Paris, has been working extremely hard in order to adapt to the challenges of online learning. Mrs. Rouby wanted to make the new transition for her students as smooth as possible, so she set out to have a different style of learning. She spoke out and said (translated from French), “I have been trying to implement activities within the virtual classroom that would not only keep them engaged but also benefit my students.” Despite her love for children, she stands strong on the belief that “online learning will be the future of schooling, and not being able to teach in a classroom made a massive impact on a student’s education.” She has also mentioned that her career has been inspired by her “5th-grade teacher who first introduced her to the Greek language while making the class very fun and exciting.” She hopes she can do the same for her students. Mrs. Rouby emphasized how important it is to show gratitude to your teachers during these stressful times. “Please say thank you to your teachers,” it can go a long way.
Through interviewing Mrs. Rouby, I have learned the importance of showing gratitude to your teachers. Especially during difficult times, many teachers have worked very hard to adapt to different classroom activities, and new components in order to ensure a smooth transition for their students. I also got more informed regarding the challenges and setbacks experienced due to the pandemic and how important it is to support one and another. No matter how it seems, our teachers strive to give the best education possible to their students both at home and in the classroom.
Interview conducted by Chloe P.
Stephen Ball is an attorney and entrepreneur living in the East Coast. His motivation to pursue his profession was “a desire to help people and promote justice." Stephen felt that being a lawyer would enable him to advocate for positive change on many fronts. He started off working at a big law firm as a litigation attorney; from there, he moved to different companies and got exposed to different occupations such as insurance, technology, and banking. Stephen said, “As I moved between companies, I also transitioned to working in government affairs, public policy, and lobbying. Now, with Wisdem, the company I started, I'm embracing entrepreneurship and pursuing a different passion, which is to democratize wisdom and help people reach their goals. As a Harvard Law School alumni, I was blessed to be able to receive a great education and access to good career opportunities. With Wisdom, I want to help others do the same”. Stephen enjoys seeing the growth and development of others, thus that is why he chose to pursue a career in this profession: “Guiding a student through the college admissions process is important. But when students truly believe in their abilities, that belief can fuel their success in academia, their career, and life as a whole”.
Interviewing Mr.Ball exemplified the hardship and resiliency he has whether it is owning a business, or simply being an inspiration to others. Mr.Ball has been helping numerous students to direct them for not only college applications, but for “students to truly believe in their own abilities, that belief can fuel their success in academia, their career, and life as a whole” (Stephen Ball).
Interview conducted by Anonymous
Mrs. George, a chemistry teacher in Washington DC, has immense fervor for being an educator, especially laughing and interacting with her students. Owing to the pandemic and stay at home orders she “rapidly educated” herself to stay ahead of the technology which she would come to use to communicate with her students saying, “I enjoyed that”; truly highlighting her innovativeness and willingness to learn. Her passion for chemistry and teaching did not wither online, and thanks to her, we are all looking forward to pursuing a career in the sciences. Mrs. George exclaimed that “online teaching is especially uplifting for science teachers” as the scientific method is based on group experimentation and analysis. Nonetheless, she also states that she “learned about her students in new ways”.
The interview with Mrs. George made me truly understand how difficult it must be for such an extroverted and brilliant chemistry teacher to continue to spread her passion via a computer screen during these dark days of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, teachers just like her continue to strive onwards despite the times and thus we must be thankful to all of them for their sacrifices and passion.
Interview conducted by Alexander K.
Mr. Ramroop, a bus driver in Queens, New York, has been working restlessly to make sure New Yorkers are safely transported during these troubling times. Having the experience of driving for thirty years, in addition to being a bus driver for years; Mr. Ramroop says, “I have always had a passion for driving, but being a bus driver is not as easy as it looks. The best part of the job is when passengers acknowledge the driver with a ‘good morning’ or a simple smile. Driving multiple trips is tiring and it’s nice to know my labor is appreciated.” Given the present circumstances of the country, encountering so many people every day is dangerous. However, Mr. Ramrup and other public transportation workers continue to strive and work hard for society.
This interview has brought to light the risks of transportation workers' experience. A single bus driver transports hundreds of people daily, including essential workers. It may not seem like it, but transportation workers are just as crucial to the economy as doctors and first responders; without them, many workers cannot travel back and forth to their jobs. So next time you step on a bus, remember to show gratitude toward the driver.
Interview conducted by Anusha R.
As a school-based occupational therapist in Northern VA, Mrs. B has always had a passion for helping others. Her profession has allowed her to assist numerous individuals to engage and return to their natural occupation whether it be a play, school, self-care, or work settings. She currently works with children who have special needs and enjoys the task of “fostering their growth and learning.” She mentioned, “I love being able to see the smile on a student’s face after they’ve completed a task they had initially found challenging. During virtual learning, I have been able to provide resources and activities for my students, join live sessions with their teachers, and encourage engagement for students to access their virtual classroom.” In addition to her work with students, she has worked with individuals who have experienced traumatic brain injury, stroke, motor vehicle accidents, and spinal cord injury. “These are individuals and families who have had their lives interrupted”, she says, “and yet they can heal and overcome the challenges in their own ways.” Mrs. B loves her work tremendously and encourages the youth to explore the field as a career. ”It is a rewarding profession. You can make a positive impact on people from infants to the elderly,” Mrs. B says, “I have learned that the human spirit is resilient. People can endure, persevere, and flourish no matter what life brings them.”
Interview conducted by Bianca B.
Interns 4-Good is a 501(c)-3 nonprofit organization connecting high school students with remote, skill-based internship opportunities at nonprofit organizations, allowing them to build their resumes while giving back to worthy causes.