CPISP Scholar Khaled Abdulkarim, an undergraduate at U Penn majoring in Business and International Studies, took part in a school-organized internship in the Philippines with Teach for the Philippines, a member of the Teach for All network.
Khaled was selected to lead a team of four to do some pro-bono consulting for the non-profit organization, including analyzing the results of a 360-degree feedback survey to measure satisfaction with the organization's Teaching Fellows.
“Our goal was impact assessment - seeing how effective the organization was at achieving its goals,” explains Khalid. “Our work culminated into an executive report which we presented to the organization's senior management. In addition to evaluating the organization's trainings and placement programs, our main recommendations looked at the organization's expansion. This included identifying new parts of the country for the organization to expand to, new subjects for Teaching Fellows to take up, and new sources of funding (especi
ally important as an NGO).”
Khalid’s internship also brought him the opportunity to visit and explore a new country and experience new cultures.
“Perhaps the best words to sum up the experience are ‘exciting’ and ‘eye-opening’. Before this trip, I had never been to the Philippines and knew very little about it. While there, I was exposed to amazing natural beauty, an extremely friendly population, and extreme income disparity. While in Manila, we were in an extremely developed part of it that often felt like Singapore or Hong Kong, but we also drove through extremely poor shanty towns. As we were landing into Manila, large slums were clearly visible from above.”
“Weekdays were spent in Manila. We'd wake up and grab a quick bite on the way to work. We spent most of our day in the office, and often conducted site visits to local schools and spoke to many of their Teaching Fellows. At night, we'd head to the city to grab a meal (we tried traditional Filipino food and loved it, so we had that quite often!) and we tried to end the day with a cultural event or a quick walk around the area.”
“On weekends, we'd leave Manila to visit other parts of the country. One weekend, we hiked a volcano. It was a 2-am start and an almost 5-hour trek, but it was absolutely worth it. Another weekend, we went to Boracay - an absolutely stunning island with an even more beautiful beach. We also went to the Highlands, Tagaytay, where it was cooler than the city.”