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Hi guys! Sorry for the delay!

Since I’ve been busy the last two weeks with work, editing for another video project for a program I’m applying too, as well as traveling to Colorado last week. I won’t be posting Part 2 to the Love in the Digital Age series till this weekend. Don’t fret, the video should be up as early as this Friday, if not by next Monday

Thanks for watching and supporting!

-B

My report on the recent march for Charter Schools in NYC and NBC’s Education Nation.

Across the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Bianca Clendenin.

Across the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Bianca Clendenin.

“My school, my choice” was one of the many chants sung out by students…teachers… and their families who are fighting for equality in their education.

Tuesday morning on October 8th students, teachers, parents, and many supporters came out to Brooklyn to support Charter Schools in New York City.

In attempt to have there voices heard…according to NY1 over 17,000 supports walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall on Tuesday.

With the upcoming election in November one of the main topics bought up by democratic candidate for Mayor…Bill de Blasio are Charter Schools and their use of space in public school buildings.

De Blasio believes that charter schools should pay for rent.

His stance on Charter Schools:  “There are charters that are much, much better endowed in terms of resources than the public sector ever hoped to be. It is insult to injury to give them free rent. They should have to pay rent. They have the money.”

His opponent, Republican Joe Lhota disagrees and was at the march on Tuesday to show support.

Supporters of Charter Schools were singing a different tune. To many, Charter Schools are Public Schools and deserve to continue existing in their spaces without being charged rent.

In New York City alone there are 183 charter schools in existence.

Current Mayor…Michael Bloomberg has been an avid supporter of the Charter School system since he took office in 2002. For this he has been seen as progressive.

New York City has been the hub for charter school success stories… For example, KIPP (which stands for Knowledge is Power Program), which I’m an alumnus of their 1st school…Opened in 1995 in the Bronx. The program has branched out both nationally and locally, with multiple schools within the 5 boroughs as well as an elementary and high school.

If De Blasio wins in November, this could lead to many of these Charter Schools closing because they don’t have the funds to afford to pay their rent. It can also mean that the dozens of Charter Schools that planed on opening up in the next few months may have to be put on hold.

Education has been a hot topic in New York in the last few days. Just finishing up their two-day summit, NBC’s 4th annual Education Nation just took place during the 6th through 8th.  Having all kinds of panels filled with educators and supporters…discussed methods on how to better education and to have this dialogue on a national scale.

One of the more popular discussions that I was grateful to be apart of was the Student Town Hall from this past Sunday. Moderated by MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry this event gave a telecast platform for students of ages ranging from 11 to 25 to come and speak out about issues in regards to education that matter to them.

Personally it inspired me to want to do more. As a recent college graduate and aspiring journalist, I realized being active in some sort of policy or advocacy work is a great way to give back to your community. Without my support from my charter school I wouldn’t be who I am today. This is why I hope to blend my growing interest in advocacy and journalism to get back to my roots and give a voice to folks who need to be heard. We can all agree that education is vital to a thriving society and we need to all work together to provide a better future for our children.

Sound off: Do you agree that Charter Schools shouldn’t have to pay rent or do you agree they need to pay up? Remember be respectful in the comments sections. Thanks, B.

As my college career came to a close, I’ve been continually getting the question: what are your plans after college?

Wide eyed with a blank look on my face, I answer, “I’m still trying to figure it all out.”

If you ask any of my fellow seniors who are graduated in May, their answers will be fairly similar. Of course some are more confident than others, luckily grabbed and accepted their post college jobs in whatever field of their choice. Others decided to go straight to graduate school. Some decide to travel to places like India or China for the summer. The summer post college is a time of transition, and what a summer it has been.

However if you scroll down your news feed on Facebook another tune is being sung: finding a paying full-time or even part-time job is extremely difficult. Even my brother couldn’t find a part-time retail job when he was home. Having a degree may actually hinder you because you’ll be considered “over qualified”.

To be completely honest, I actually did have some sort of plan. I’m not completely a deer caught in the headlights. During my last semester of college I was able to secure an [paid] internship with prestigious media company and over the last few months I’ve been trying my hardest to network like crazy. In media, it’s more of whom you know rather than what you know. Of course don’t expect to keep your job if you don’t know anything either!

My internship put me in a better position than a lot of my peers, giving me experience and the ability to network.  However, it also doesn’t automatically give me employment. It’s a good start though.  According to this article in The Atlantic, paid internships are more likely to lead to jobs as in comparison to unpaid internships.

The first half of my summer was dedicated to volunteering a few hours a week as an unpaid intern for a production company. Not my ideal situation, but to stay home all summer sulking about being broke won’t change my situation. I also really loved it. It really set the tone for the kind of work I hope to do soon.  By my luck I was able to secure a paid internship in July, with a educational advocacy group working in their communications department.

Currently I’m still employed, my summer internship is keeping me on for another few months.

If you’ve been following the news like I do, there is probably a news article, editorial, or news story about our current unemployment rate every day. If you look at the numbers for recent graduates and young people between the ages of 18-21 it’s not a pretty sight. The statistics for women and people of color are even more discouraging.

This also hits on the debate of unpaid internships

With the court ruling earlier this summer, Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Judge William H. Pauley III of New York ruled that unpaid internships are unlawful. In this case, interns who were working on the film Black Swan should have been paid for their work.

Because of this case, multiple interns are coming out of the wood work to sue their former employers. Donna Karen International, is the newest company to be in the spotlight as a former intern is seeking a class-action lawsuit against the company. They’re claim? That they were told the internship would be a learning experience, but it ended up being an unpaid errands boy.

We’ve all suffered through a few unpaid internships throughout undergrad. Unpaid internships seem like the passageway to employment, or at least that is what we’ve been told. Fetching coffee or running errands seem like part of the job description, that is until it comes down to finding your first job and you realize your resume is filled with fluff.

The reason why unpaid internships are harmful is not because of unfair wages, but because of the unfair wages you would make once you join the workforce. Entry-level positions in companies are becoming more scarce. Employers can hire unpaid interns to do the work instead, thus saving them money to hire people who would be full time and with benefits. Can you imagine how attractive that is to employers? That you can hire a new batch of interns each semester without ever paying them or just paying them the bare minimum?

It wasn’t until my last semester of college that I acquired a paid internship. However most of my money went towards transportation and food. Commuting from Westchester County to New York City wasn’t cheap. A third of my earrings would go towards transportation alone. One aspect I realized many of the students at my internship had in common was that most were attending school in the city or was lucky enough to find an apartment in a nearby borough.

Another aspect unpaid internships that doesn’t get talked about is the privilege that comes along with it: having the means. If your parents are already paying for school or rent, you may not be so hesitant to take on an unpaid internship. Which means you’ll have more time to work there, which could lead to a better chance of being employed there eventually. So the real question is, who gets hurt the most from these unpaid internships?

Internships should be a learning experience, but you shouldn’t be taken advantage of because you’re a student.

Finding a new path

This summer I’ve applied to over 30 jobs. All of them are in media, video production, social media, and/or communications. They range from full-time, part-time, freelance, unpaid internships, to paid internships. So far I’ve had three call backs, six rejections, one unpaid position, and one paid internship.

Summer did get stressful. Sometimes I wanted to give up. Sometimes I worry if I picked the wrong profession. I’ve even considered going back to school. The problem is, for what?

But it’s only been three months since I graduated. I’ll drive myself crazy if I don’t have a bit of positivity when it comes to the job hunt. Taking on an unpaid internship seems a bit backwards, but I actually gained more experience and did actual work. Volunteering my time actually benefited me in the end because I’ve been able to secure some paid freelance gigs.

As the summer draws to a close, I feel a little more confident than I did three months ago when I started writing this post. Now that I experience my first post college summer, it felt appropriate to finally publish this piece…after a bit of editing may I add.

Right now I have my summer internship, a possible apprenticeship with a graphic designer, and possibly some freelance work with my old job. It’s not glamorous at all, but it takes me one step closer to finding that “dream job” and moving to my “first dream apartment with my best friends”…or just starting to pay off my college loans.

My advice to all you young, educated (college or not), and unemployed little adults out there: stay active, stay productive, and stay up on current events. Also, stay hopeful. I basically didn’t get my dream job that I’ve been wanting since January and it hurts, but at least I didn’t give up. Cliche to write, but cliches are good sometimes.

We’re the next stock of future doctors, writers, politicians, and much more. Without being completely cliche, it’s time we take back the workforce and it make it our own.