Katie is studying towards a Computer Science degree at the University of North Carolina,  Chapel Hill.  She joined the VACorps program  in June 2019, and participated in a civic-tech internship.

“I came to Cape Town looking for adventure and new chances to get out my comfort zone. When looking for these adventures, I found great friends and made some of the best memories of my life. I owe VAC a huge shout out because my first weekend in South Africa was the VAC Hermanus weekend and I decided to go on the trip because I thought it would be a cool way to get to know people. I ended up meeting my best friends and we still always joke about how Hermanus was what brought us all together. I will never forget the feeling I got after jumping off of the world’s tallest bungy bridge on the Garden Route. That feeling really encompasses what Cape Town gave me; I felt like I could conquer the world and I didn’t want to ever forget what it felt like to take that leap of faith. I risked a lot in coming to Cape Town on my own and of course I was nervous, but I think being so far out of my comfort zone allowed me to discover so much more about myself and gain new confidence in my abilities. I especially gained a lot of confidence through my internship. This was my first work experience with computer science and I learned more than I even hoped I would. I was challenged, pushed, and encouraged just like I needed to be. I am so thankful for the opportunity VAC gave me to intern at Open Up and for setting up such a welcoming environment for me to learn and grow.

I got to pair program on a business portal website with a front-end developer. I learned HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The exposure to front-end development showed me the more creative and design oriented side of programming, and I found the front-end to be really fun and exciting. Because this was my first internship in computer science I was worried that I would realize I didn’t like coding or that I wasn’t good at it, but I actually gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. I feel rejuvenated with a fresh passion for coding, and I’m excited to explore more civic tech avenues back home in the states.”

View Technology Internships

Meet our most recent VACorps program alumni:

Sofia Cagliero, Milan, Italy (2021)

Sofia (pictured far right) joined the VACorps program in January 2021 and participated in a business start-up internship as part of her gap year.  She will begin her studies at Harvard in September 2021.  [...]

Luke B, New York, USA (2021)

Luke (pictured on the right) joined the VACorps program as part of his GAP year where he participated in an internship at a small tourism company in Cape Town. Luke will begin his studies [...]

Atabong Wilfred, Cameroon (2021)

Atabong has completed his LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the European University Viadrina Frankfurt. He joined the VACorps program in February 2021 and participated in a human rights law internship [...]

Jared Casper, New York, USA (2021)

Jared (pictured on the right) joined the VACorps program in January 2021 as part of his gap year and participated in an internship at an NGO that provides support, education, and integration services to [...]

Isabel Sweeney, Connecticut, USA (2021)

Isabel joined the VACorps program in January 2021 as part of her gap year, and participated in a film and media internship at a community television station in Cape Town.  She will begin her [...]

Julianna Berman, New Jersey, USA (2021)

Julianna (pictured second from the right) joined the VACorps program as part of her GAP year in January 2021.  She did her internship at an NGO that promotes human rights and youth empowerment.  Julianna [...]

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