Damonika Stokes is the summer operations intern at Harriet Tubman Charter School. Stokes is currently a senior at Bard College majoring in Political Studies.
A native of New Orleans, Stokes attributes her desire to work in education to her high school experience. “I’ve always said that I am a product of the New Orleans education system. I was given the tools I needed to succeed, and I wanted to work for an organization that will give those same tools back to the community,” she said. After interning with Tubman last summer, Stokes chose to return this summer because of the inspiring people she gets to work with. “I’ve never met such an amazing group of people who work around the clock to go above and beyond the standards and expectations of New Orleans education.”
As an intern, Stokes has most appreciated seeing the outcomes of working with the Tubman team. “I’ve learned so far that change does not happen overnight; it takes time, it takes teamwork, but most importantly it is possible.”
Returning to New Orleans for the summer has also given Stokes the opportunity to develop a new appreciation for her hometown. “For me, no matter where I go, I will never find food or a culture as unique as in our city. I can’t wait to return home,” she said. Stokes plans to do that soon after she graduates. “Ultimately I want to become a teacher in New Orleans and hopefully one day, down the line, end up in education policy.”