Intern Spotlight: Kelly Cruz

This is the second in a series of spotlights on our fall 2017 student interns.  Learning Life’s students this fall are assisting with research, curriculum development,  outreach, and family and youth learning activities for our Citizen Diplomacy Initiative (CDI).  Kelly Cruz, interviewed below, is helping with our learning activities, grassroots fundraising, outreach and research, among other things.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Washington, DC.

Kelly CruzWhat school do you attend, and what is your year and major there?

I attend Trinity Washington University, where I am a senior majoring in international affairs.

What do you like to do in your free time?

As a vegetarian, I like to surf the internet for international vegetarian dishes that I can cook at home.  Currently, I am interested in a lot of Indian dishes, like “vada pav,” which is a potato-stuffed sandwich!  When I have time on my hands l also like to visit the art museums in Washington, DC.

Is there a life experience you have had that has particularly shaped you thus far?  If so, what is it, and how has it shaped you?  

One of the most life changing experiences I had was volunteering as an English teaching assistant at an adult charter school this last spring.  The school’s students come from all over the world, including places that I hadn’t heard of before.  Seeing diverse people trying to learn a new language encouraged me to learn more about the cultures and foods of the world!

What are your career plans?

My hope is that I can work for a non-governmental organization focusing on combating climate change.  Earth is the only home that we have right now as human beings, and if we don’t take care of it then we won’t have a future.

Why did you choose to intern with Learning Life?

Learning Life focuses on lower-income communities that have fewer resources and ability to impact the world.  However, as individuals and families they can provide insight into their values, traditions and culture to other people across the world.  Our world is becoming smaller due to globalization, and everyone is affected by it.  Learning Life is helping to ensure that nobody gets left behind.  Plus, I am able to interact with new people locally and abroad that I might otherwise never meet.

What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?

I think of the most beautiful place in the world is Fort Totten metro station in Washington DC.  Alongside the station there is a park and a garden that intertwines with the station.  For example, the fences and walls are covered in vegetation.  There are also deer, bird, raccoons, and other wild animals.  The calmness of the trees and animals next to rows of parked cars makes the scene unique.