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:

Marius Duffy, Caen, France (2021)

Marius joined the VACorps Program in June 2021 and participated in an internship at a short-term housing rental company.  "I am really thankful for being part of this program. I enjoyed every moment in [...]

Jude Tedder, Tennessee, USA 2021)

Jude recently completed her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee.  She joined the VACorps program in June 2021 and participated in an internship at a refugee center [...]

Robert Stark, Georgia, USA (2021)

Robert is a pre-med student at the University of Georgia.  He joined the VACorps program in May 2021 and participated in a medical internship at a local Cape Town clinic.  Cape Town has been [...]

Yazan Badarny, Tel Aviv, Israel (2021)

Yazan is a Computer Science and Management Studies graduate from Tel Aviv University. He joined the VACorps Program in January 2021 and did an internship at a tech startup. "I was looking for a [...]

Grant Kuppenheimer, Colorado, USA (2021)

Grant joined the VACorps program in May 2021 as part of his gap year and participated in an education internship where he taught at a local school.  He will be attending Queen’s University Ontario, [...]

Graham Tulowitzky, Georgia, USA (2021)

Graham joined the VACorps program in May 2021 and participated in a medical internship at a clinic in  one of Cape Town's townships. He is a pre-med student at the University of Georgia.   "I [...]

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