This summer, BPIE was joined by three Boston Public Schools students through the John Hancock MLK Scholars Program. For two months, Amarilys, Angel and Prova led an outreach project to help recruit more academic mentors, created digital marketing materials, and planned for upcoming volunteer events. Read about their experiences as virtual MLK Scholars in their blogs below.

Unexpected Summer as an MLK Scholar

By Amarilys Diaz

My name is Amarilys Diaz and hopefully, my name will mean something someday. We are currently in the year 2021 and I would have never thought I’d spend another summer in a global pandemic. At seventeen years old, I am so close to being an adult – which is very scary. My mind is filled with thoughts like “I need a job” and “I need to finish school.” But thankfully I found this opportunity at Boston Partners in Education. 

At first, I was scared – the whole job was going to be remote and on Zoom. Now I can honestly say that I would have not traded this experience for anything and I would not have rather spent my summer doing anything else.

I’ve learned and grown so much thanks to all the amazing people I’ve met, and have taken all the feedback and lessons to heart. Now on my last day, August 21, 2021, I can honestly say that I am so proud of myself and everything I have accomplished in this short amount of time. I can’t wait to put what I’ve learned to use.

A Summer of Personal Connection & Growth

By Angel Baez

During my time as an MLK Scholar, I loved every aspect of it from professional flyering to having personal conversations with staff members about video games and even sharing cooking recipes with each other. Everyone got along well with each other and everyone on staff was respectful – I even became friends with the other scholars on my team. 

Something that I’ve learned is that time management is KEY. This summer helped realize that I could be managing my time better for the upcoming school year. I am grateful for the opportunity that John Hancock has given me to be able to work with Boston Partners in Education this summer. 

Humility and Learning with BPIE 

By Prova Kazi

In my opinion, everyone should take a summer internship opportunity at BPIE, and here’s why:

I was able to learn how to utilize Google Sheets, Excel, and Google Calendar. These skills kept me sane and I no longer missed meetings or scheduled work.

You know the biggest fear with anyone that’s starting their own business is, “How am I going to get customers?” People are terrified to go out and strike up a conversation with others, but you know what we (the Scholars) did every Wednesday? We went door to door! 

Canva, Canva, Canva. Canva is a free graphic design platform that the marketing team taught us how to use this summer for social media graphics, presentations, and flyers. Now that I know how to use this tool, I can cut out the middleman in the future – I no longer will need to pay a graphic designer and can create whatever I need myself.

Public Speaking
When you work in a professional environment for any amount of time, you start to pick up things – and thankfully I learned to improve my presentation skills. Public speaking was a skill I already had and BPIE helped me refine it – now I don’t stutter as much!

I think I’m a decent judge of character and these people at BPIE are so down to earth – they are just straight up humble. My advice to future MLK Scholars is to just stay humble, seek knowledge, see the long-term value in the information you are consuming. It’s magical, I promise.

To future MLK Scholars: Sit down with everyone at BPIE and just absorb as much information as you can because every one of them has different expertise. The staff has so much experience and wisdom that you can learn from.