Seizing an Opportunity: From Scholars to Interns

Noah Seidel and Kayla Brown, AccessSTEM/AccessComputing Interns

Did you know that DO-IT has many opportunities beyond the DO-IT Scholars Summer Study program?

AccessSTEM/AccessComputing Interns Noah and Kayla out and about in Seattle.

AccessSTEM/AccessComputing Interns Noah and Kayla out and about in Seattle.

We are both DO-IT Ambassadors, DO-IT Scholar graduates, and college students. Over the past few months, we have been working as AccessSTEM and AccessComputing Interns at the DO-IT Center. As Interns, we help with conferences and other outreach events to spread the word about opportunities for students with disabilities through the NSF funded AccessSTEM (for students with disabilities interested in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) and AccessComputing (for students with disabilities interested in IT) programs. We are often out and about in the Puget Sound region distributing information and resources. You might see us staffing DO-IT booths at conferences, like the Seattle Public Schools' Special Education Fair or the Northwest Council for Computer Education convention, to help educators, parents, and professionals find resources for students with disabilities.

With our internship opportunities, we've traveled from Portland, OR to Bellingham, WA. At Western Washington University, we co-hosted a disability awareness event where students learned about computing careers and internships. We also engage in panel discussions like those at a DO-IT Scholars gathering as well as an event for local high school students at Seattle Central Community College. During panel discussions, students with disabilities are able to ask questions about the transition to college process and our experiences as Interns. At the recent UW Career Fair, we gave students with disabilities information about how to get internships and jobs through AccessSTEM and AccessComputing. At Nelson Middle School's Impact Day, we presented a workshop about college and jobs for students with disabilities. We also recently spoke to a group of UW physical and occupational therapy graduate students as part of one of their graduate classes.

As you can see, we've been very busy in our internships! This opportunity has helped us develop our interests in STEM fields and learn more about computing. It has helped us network and has added great experience to our resumes. Work-based learning opportunities and other internships are great ways to explore your interests. We encourage you to explore internship opportunities for yourself. Remember, we're both on the doitchat email discussion list, and we are always happy to answer any questions you have!