Megan Foo's Blog

Givology Graduation Blog: Jessica Lim, Partnerships Associate

[b]Where will you be studying?[/b]
[b]Jessica Lim:[/b] I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania. However, recently I was admitted to volunteer with "City Year" for the 2014-2015 school year, and have decided to ask to defer my matriculation to Penn. "City Year" is an Americorps program that accepts volunteers 17-24 years old. During the academic year, volunteers work in underfunded, intercity schools to support students in key areas--attendance, behavior, and course performance--that have been identified as early warning indicators that make students more likely to drop out of school. By taking the year, I hope to be able to see the problems in the real world, by gaining the experience, and give myself more of a focus to study in college.
[b]What are you looking forward to studying in university? What did you study in high school?[/b]
[b]Jessica Lim:[/b] I am not really sure what I am going to study in college. If I were to guess right now, it would probably be microeconomics and cognitive science. I took a wide array of classes in high school. The IB coursework I took to contribute to the IB Diploma, which I guess suggests my aptitude for certain areas, were HL English, HL Economics, HL Mathematics, HL Chemistry, SL Physics, SL Mandarin, and SL History. My Extended Essay was titled:"The United Nations' Education Goals in Developing Countries: The Obstacles Hindering its Achievement in Rural China." I chose to focus on China, in particular, because the prior year I had done a 5-week immersion program in Beijing and travelled to the Tibetan Monotonous regions of Western China. While interacting with my host family and the people I met there, I began to understand the educational inequalities that presented itself both by the culture and the government. I ended up taking an "interdisciplinary approach" because I realized that it was impossible to categorize today's most pressing issues into a single area of study. I never really had a "favorite" subject, but was very influenced greatly by how well I connected with the different teachers I had. I was always really interested in conceptualizing how all of the theories I learnt in the classroom played out in the real world. I hope that the experiences I gain during my gap year and college will help me to figure it out.
[b]How has volunteering with Givology shaped what you want to do in the future?[/b]
[b]Jessica Lim:[/b] Within Givology there are many teams that allow the organization to run--social media, analytics, partnership, etc. Each team is just important as the next. And each team member has a unique set of services and opinions to offer, that the entire team is improved because of. It has made me realize the truth that every person makes a difference in a cause, and you are never too small to make a change. Givology has reaffirmed, for me, my dedication to improving education equality. It has exposed me to the "power of technology" and its different uses, which, while it may not be my primary interest, has made me more interested in taking an intro to comp-sci course and learn more about journalism. But above all, it has taught me to take leadership for what I am passionate for. And I think that lesson will go very far with me in the future.
[b]How do you think your chosen major will help you impact your community and the global community?[/b]
[b]Jessica Lim:[/b] As I haven't definitively chosen my major, I am not sure if I can really answer this question. However, I think, as was a large factor of my volunteering with Givology, that education is really the key to making a difference in the world. My interest lies in figuring out how people can work best together to be the most productive they can be. I hope that by understanding human nature better, I will be better able to make a change that society wants to see, rather than what I think is needed.
[b]What is the greatest lesson you've learned from working with Givology that you will carry with you in the future?[/b]
[b]Jessica Lim:[/b] Probably the greatest lesson I've learned from working with Givology is that if you can be the change you want to see. After seeing how dedicated Givology's staff is--the majority of whom are full-time students or employed full-time--I've realized that no matter how busy I am in my life, there are always ways I can support the causes I care about.

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