Meet Johanna, a Gap Year Fellow from Denmark working in New York City! Aside from the educational aspect of Project Rousseau, Johanna was intrigued by, “The volunteering work, where you can give these students an opportunity that they wouldn't have if we didn’t provide if for them.” The idea of “helping and getting to know other people” outside of her community in Denmark through Project Rousseau interested Johanna so much so that she came to New York!
Now, she spends her days at Project Rousseau performing a wide variety of jobs. On a Saturday, Johanna is “in charge of the SAT testing,” however she says, “During the week I do everything from going to different schools, to sorting out the financial aid for students, to going to a baseball game, or visiting museums with the students.” At Project Rousseau, Johanna is not limited to office work and administrative tasks but has been to seminars at Columbia with the students and taken them to Astronomy nights through the broadening horizons events.
As a Big Apple newcomer, Johanna describes New York as overwhelming compared to her previous experiences at home. “There’s always something to do, it really is the city that never sleeps,” she says. Johanna adjusted quickly to the fast paced lifestyle of a New Yorker, but despite the endless possibilities in New York, Johanna “[misses] nature a little bit.”
After settling into her routine at Project Rousseau, Johanna says the best part of her job is, “That you can help a lot of students, and you can really have that personal contact with them.” At Project Rousseau, she realized “How keen people actually are into learning, and that they actually want to learn because I’ve been used to the idea that you just go to school because you have to learn something, just like you have to do your homework.” For Johanna, meeting students who are so passionate about learning and engaged in wanting to learn is the most amazing aspect of working as a Gap Year Fellow at Project Rousseau.