VSP recently welcomed two new interns to the team, Hillary Goldfine and Mitch Stent. We sat down with them to see what goals and expectations they have during their time at VSP.
VSP: What were you doing before deciding to join the VSP team?
MS: Living the exchange student life in Valparaíso throughout the first half of the year, studying at PUCV and living right in the heart of Cerro Concepción (arguably the most exciting place I could have been). Before that, I was living and studying International Studies at my university in Melbourne, while also dreaming of living the exchange student life in Valparaíso.
HG: Living in Boston and working for Teach For America/dreaming of the beach.
VSP: Why did you decide to intern with VSP?
MS: I was seeking an internship in Latin America which combined my interests in community based non-governmental work, empowerment of young people and social justice. I was over the moon to find out about VSP’s cause and fusion of surfing with learning opportunities, and even more psyched that I might be able to become involved.
HG: VSP combines some of my favorite things: working with children, traveling, and exploring the Chilean beaches.
VSP: What are some goals you have for your time here?
MS: To build supportive, positive and fun relationships with the kids, to tap into the grants and funding opportunities hiding over in Australia, to learn to surf properly, to speak better Spanish/Chilean, to learn to cook better… I’ve got a bit of work to do.
HG: Get better at surfing and Spanish!
VSP: What does being a mentor mean to you?
MS: A mentor to me is someone who doesn’t seek to hand out wisdom and solutions to the many challenges young people face in the journey of growing. A mentor walks with them and shares their road as a consistent and positive influence. Mentors seek to empower them to find their own way through their challenges while developing their resilience and genuine self-confidence.
HG: Being a mentor for me means believing in the potential of the kids we work with and helping to actualize this potential in whatever way I can.
VSP: Have you had a personal mentor? What kind of effect did that person have on you?
MS: I feel like my mentors have come very generously and in too many shapes and sizes to count or pick an outright MVP, however my Dad has always been a rock solid and enlightening influence in my life. He stirred in me my curiosity about the world and all the people in it as well as instilling a strong sense of integrity and work ethic, both of which have led me to both find and seize the fantastic opportunity I have here in Chile.
HG: I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing mentors in my life, like my mom, my sisters, my close friends, and professors. They have shown me unconditional support and love and continually push me to better myself. I would not be here in Chile without any of them.