Guest post!

Jordan just completed a 10-week internship at NCFL. She came to NCFL from Yale University, but she’s from Lexington, KY (and the first one in her family to go to college!). We were so glad to have her and wish her the best in her classes this fall!

When I was perusing the options I had available to me for this summer, I only had one criterion — close to home. I’m a Kentucky girl, born and raised in the heart of the bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky.

However, like most Yale students, I was expected to do something great, something noteworthy with my summer. Many of my friends will have fantastic tales to be sure — working with HIV-positive children in Swaziland, interning for the State Department in Turkey, doing cognitive science research under the top leaders in that field — so most were surprised when I informed them that I would be returning to Kentucky for my summer.

What could Kentucky have to offer to a Yale student like me? Not only did Kentucky have great things to offer to me, I found an organization that had great things to offer to the entire country.

When I first applied for the summer internship at the National Center for Family Literacy, I was intrigued by their mission but had little prior knowledge of family literacy. On my first day in late May, I was given several brochures and publications produced by NCFL that highlighted the wonderful work that they do there.

After reading a few reports about the positive effects of their programs, specifically the Toyota Family Literacy Program that I worked on, I had no doubts left in my mind about the effects of family literacy programs. I was amazed at the way that TFLP changed how parents interact with their families, in ways that are as simple as reading to their children more often. It was such a powerful feeling to know that an organization that I was now involved with was reaching children who the system would have most likely let fall through the cracks.

I have no doubt that when I return to Yale in the fall I will be able to share stories from my summer internship here at NCFL. People who had no prior knowledge of family literacy will be amazed at the impact that it makes — just like me when I started here 10 weeks ago.

— Jordan Sharpe