As soon as South African student Tumelo Mosweu learned that part of the Community College Initiative Program included participating in an internship, he started searching for companies to work with. In fact, his search began before he even set foot in the United States.
Before coming to Boston for his exchange year with CCI at Bunker Hill Community College, Tumelo thought about how his current connections might help him find an internship. He reached out to City Year South Africa, an organization he had volunteered with in 2012, and after explaining about his opportunity to study abroad, City Year South Africa wrote a letter of recommendation to help him get an internship with a City Year organization in the U.S. At the time, City Year Boston was not looking for an intern, but Tumelo knew he could be useful and reached out anyway. After a couple of months volunteering with them, Tumelo secured an internship with City Year Boston in October 2016.
City Year is an education-focused organization that aims to serve high-need urban schools by providing student, classroom, and student-wide support to help students graduate high school and prepare for their futures. Tumelo says that City Year Boston “represents a model of business that I want to run,” and his passion for education, volunteering, and business fits perfectly with the City Year organizational model.
Since starting his internship, Tumelo has contributed over 90 hours of work as a Development Intern. His work responsibilities include donor database administration, research, and event planning assistance. “Practically, I am learning how to run and operate a business—what I study at college is what I get to do at the office.”
In addition to these responsibilities, Tumelo is also working on the Development Plan for a City Year international affiliate, City Year South Africa. Tumelo says, “My desire for City Year South Africa is for them to implement a strategic Development Plan that will effectively inspire growth for the organization. As soon as I learned that City Year South Africa has been operating without a development department, I just knew they would need my help.”
Specifically, Tumelo’s task is to duplicate City Year Boston’s Development Plan to South Africa’s needs, a task that includes researching the needs of South Africa and anticipating the needs of the organization. Having volunteered for City Year South Africa in the past, Tumelo’s perspective is unique and valuable.
Tumelo is also using his internship as an inspirational springboard for a personal project. “My ultimate desire is to start my own organization called High Impact Group, which will be an education focused NPO. The project will target high school learners to engage them in social issues and encourage civic leadership.”
Volunteering and education played a huge part in Tumelo’s personal development, and he wants people in his home community to have access to those opportunities as well. He feels fortunate to be developing his professional skills by learning hands-on from an organization that echoes his own interests, and says “My education experience combined with my internship experience will allow me to serve my community in a broader way.”