Young, Raya

Raya Young

Winter & Spring 2016 Fellow,
Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School

Majors: Computer Science and Math
Minor: Spanish
Home Town: Los Alamitos, CA
Interests: Education, volunteering, soccer
Organization: Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School Corporate Work Study Program

Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship.

As an intern for the Corporate Work Study Program at Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School, I had a variety of different jobs. The internship was pretty flexible in terms of types of projects, and a lot of it was program development, so I was able to tailor it to my skills and areas of expertise. Some of my main responsibilities were as follows: I consolidated all of the students’ information into a database that I developed, I helped plan and execute sessions for incoming freshmen to complete necessary work eligibility processes, I helped to reorganize the student files in a more efficient manner, and many more small tasks such as picking up kids from work on occasion.

 How/in what way do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?

One of my biggest contributions to the Work Study program was developing the database that holds all of the students’ information. When I came in, there wasn’t any one place that held all necessarily information for each student. I was asked to create a tool that the Work Study team (and occasionally, the rest of the Cristo Rey HS staff) could use to look up a student and find, essentially, all the information we have on this particular student. This information consisted of their grade, contact information, work team, work day, company location, and the database also includes the van routes that take the students to work. I worked on this project for several weeks and now it is in full operation by the Work Study team, something which I am very proud of. Another positive contribution I feel I had was with some of the students. Many of these young students have had little to no professional role models in their lives, and as a Work Study intern, I hope I helped some of the students envision what their future could look like. Being a computer science major, I encouraged students who showed interest in programming to cultivate those interests and to take any programming courses they could find. One student in particular came up to me on my last day and told me that I inspired her to enroll in a summer programming camp, which was extremely gratifying.

What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?

All in all, this internship was a wonderful experience. It provided me with a brand new perspective, and taught me to keep an open mind and an open heart. The most beneficial aspect was probably learning how to take initiative and be a self-starter when it comes to program development. I have gained so much from NPI, including incredible mentors that I feel I can look to in the future.