By Daniel Seddiqui, Founder of Living the Map
I first became acquainted with Rotary International while living in Evanston to coach the Women’s Cross Country team at Northwestern University. In 2008, I embarked on an ambitious journey to work 50 Jobs in 50 States in 50 weeks. Throughout my venture, I’ve had the great privilege of speaking at Rotary clubs across the country about my Living the Map program. Now, after settling in Denver, I plan to finally become a Rotary member.
Living the Map offers a national education program to redefine the traditional college internship. We provide a college credited opportunity for students to experience a rapid prototyping of work and culture related to their career and geographic interests. We aim to empower college students to make informed decisions about their future career paths and gain cultural awareness by exposing them to a variety of authentic work experiences in diverse environments during an on-the-job summer program.
College students work their choice of five jobs in five different states over the course of five weeks. The program also offers a cultural component, as the student lives with a different host family in each location they work. During the work experience, a qualified mentor on the jobsite supervises each student to give advice, field questions, and support the student’s learning objectives for that week.
Rotary plays an enormous role in our program. Rotarians have offered us unmatched support as host families for the program. We have worked exclusively with clubs across the country to help host students in their homes, providing them room and board. The host families often make the biggest impression on our students. Hosts provide students with intangible support and offer them comfort away from home. The kindness and hospitality students experience from their hosts has been transformative, and have offered our students a unique display of Service Above Self. Often our host families also learn something from the students. Rotary members have asked to continue hosting in the years to follow.
We collaborate with our partner employers to craft a meaningful work experience for students. Our employers offer students exposure, mentorship, and career direction, and also provide work assignments to help translate their classroom learning into real world experience. We are eager to continue working with Rotary members in this capacity.
As part of Rotary’s guiding principles and the Avenues of Service, Vocational Service calls on Rotarians to empower others through training and skill development. Rotarians have shown interest in expanding their participation in the program and joining us as partner employers. Rotary’s involvement is a great asset as Rotary members offer comprehensive experience in countless desired professional fields. Rotarians help upcoming young professions discover new vocational opportunities and interests. By working together, we inspire others to act with integrity by following Rotary’s guiding principles and empowering youth with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers.
We invite you to have a role in Living the Map, as an employer or host family. Learn more on our website.