Summer Internships: Lizzany Mayta '24

July 13, 2023
Headshot of Lizzany Mayta

Name: Lizzany Mayta
Class Year: 2024
Major: Sociology and Spanish
Minor: Latin American, Iberian, and Latina/o Studies
Hometown: Falls Church, Virginia

Internship Organization: JUNTOS
Job Title: Youth Programming Intern
Location: Philadelphia, PA

What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!

I’m working with JUNTOS, a community-led Latinx immigrant organization located in South Philadelphia, as the youth programming intern. I work closely alongside the youth organizer in assisting with youth programming for Podersosos and Fuerza youth groups. I assist in creating lesson plans for Poderosos, our youngest youth program where they learn to develop leadership ranging between the ages of five to eleven. There are different themes to the various workshops that are held, including learning about our Latinx history and various activities towards the end of the workshops that include creating art. Fuerza is the oldest youth group from ages 12 to 18, where they are able to further develop their leadership, and share their experiences while creating community with each other. This involves working with the youth ambassadors and organizers to prepare presentations and brainstorm activities to do with the youth. A typical day in the office includes getting ready for the workshops of Poderosos in gathering the material and getting ready to receive the children. If there is not a workshop scheduled, I work on translating documents from English to Spanish, brainstorming on the next Poderosos workshop presentation, handing out diapers to community members who come into the office, supporting case management, attending meetings, and supporting my colleagues in what they need.

Art supplies and children's drawings of animals.
Poderosos workshop on We are Free/Migración- Libertad de Movimiento, and for the activity they picked an animal that migrates and made a costume representing its power!

Why did you apply for this internship?

This summer I wanted to gain the experience to work for a nonprofit that works closely with the Latinx community. Especially working with the youth in providing meaningful programming where they are able to have the tools and knowledge about important issues that are relevant to society and their community regarding social justice, racial equality, and immigrants' rights. I also wanted to get to know the community members and provide the support they need but most importantly learn from them to better understand how as a community we can continue to fight for immigrant rights and continue to fight in providing equal access to education for the youth. This internship has become a step into what I want to continue to pursue after college, which is to work for a nonprofit that has strong ties to the community while also working with the youth.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

There have been many favorite moments that I have enjoyed working at JUNTOS this summer. I have loved joining the Cafe y Charlas every Friday where the staff and the community interact and hear from each other. It has been a way to get to know the community and the work JUNTOS continues to provide for the Latinx community. I have enjoyed being able to work with the youth and hear and see their creative side to the various topics we cover but also through the different activities we do after the presentations. Most of all I have enjoyed getting to know my colleagues and hearing their experiences. It’s a family at JUNTOS where they receive you with open arms and are dedicated to the work they do and I’m glad to be part of the team.

Group photo of staff sitting on a couch
Some of the JUNTOS staff and interns.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

The skills that I have been learning are continuing to practice and improving in translating between the Spanish and English language, while also creating accessible lesson plans for the youth by providing them with various topics that are important to our Latinx community. This is important for not only future careers but also in being able to connect with the community by providing them with accessible documents and resources to them in their native language. I have also been working in collaboration with colleagues and being open to their feedback on the various projects that I have been assigned. This is important because I’m able to continue to grow as an individual, and learn from my fellow colleagues as we also learn from each other.

Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.

Sociology Spanish Latin American, Iberian, and Latina/o Studies