Throughout my academic career at Claremont McKenna College (CMC), I’ve had the privilege of working and interning in a variety of environments, all of which have shaped my dreams of being a life-long educator and advocate. My internship with Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Zanzibar, though, was an experience that has shaped who I am and who I want to be in more ways than I thought was possible.

FAWE was the 2008 Kravis Prize recipient and is a wonderful organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls through gender-responsive education. I was able to be a part of this mission, and a lot more, while interning on the beautiful island of Zanzibar, Tanzania in the summer of 2013. Just thinking about Zanzibar puts a smile on my face, as my time with FAWE has reinforced my love for education and my dedication to fighting injustices I see in the world.

As a sophomore, I did not completely know what I was doing at CMC. I was a math and spanish major with an interest in education and civic engagement, but had absolutely no idea what this actually could look like as a career or even an internship! (I still don’t, but this unknown now excites me.) When you think about it, my academic interests really don’t make that much “sense,” and looking at my peers who had a “clearer” trajectory at CMC made me question what I should be dedicating my time and summers to. However, hearing about the internship opportunity at FAWE Zanzibar reassured me that my academic interests and my choices at CMC DO make sense and can stretch beyond the classroom.

Upon further investigation of FAWE’s mission as well as the internship’s focus on developing a monitoring and evaluation tool for their programs, I realized that this was the perfect experience for me to learn and grow. Also, the internship’s location on an island off the coast of Tanzania helped make my decision to apply a lot easier. Getting that email offering me the internship, I was relieved and excited to take on this new adventure!

This is the first part of a two-part series. Click here to read about the second part of Juetzinia’s experiece at FAWE as a Kravis Prize Intern.

Juetzinia Kazmer, ’15 is a recent alum from Claremont McKenna College with a dual major in Mathematics and Spanish. She was an intern at the Kravis Prize recipient organization FAWE in 2013. Since 2010, the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI) has collaborated on Kravis Prize programming, offering subsidized summer internships to students interested in working with Kravis Prize recipient organizations. Follow along on social media with our current #KravisPrizeInterns