The SSC: More awesome than HoneyBaked Ham

Meet Megan McMonigle, a nursing student at Penn who helps out here in the SSC. She took a minute to reflect on her experiences so far, and voila, here’s what she has to say. Thanks Megan, for everything!

Hey UCHS,

This is Megan with a few words on my experience as a tutor here at this awesome school.  I applied for a job at CSSP (that’s Penn’s Community School Student Partnerships) because I love working with people and I thought “hey, what better way to get a work study job than doing something both enjoyable and worthwhile?” When I first started work, I really had no idea what to expect.  My experience working with the school system had formerly been limited to children around the age of three or four, so this was a whole new experience for me all around.  Despite my apprehension at first, mentoring here has turned into one of the best experiences of my freshman year of college so far.  What CSSP is doing at this school is inspiring; every single person who works in the SSC just radiates dedication and passion in everything they do for the school and its students.

I can tell that it is far more than a job for everyone who works here.  This mindset, in my opinion, is extremely important.  Most students I have met who come to the SSC know how much the staff cares about them, which gives them a stronger, more confident attitude towards their abilities and ambitions.  You are all absolutely amazing.


In addition to working in the SSC, I also had the pleasure of working with CACR with the juniors and seniors working on college applications.  From the first day I could tell how dedicated Marla was to every student in that classroom, and I could also tell how much most students there really wanted to make something of their lives.  All the activities I felt could have been more organized with CACR, but they were all very important and extremely useful for the students who engaged in them.  Again, I found myself inspired.  Nothing could have prepared me for such a powerful experience when I first thought about a “work study job.”  Seriously, I could have worked in the library filing papers or in my house shop selling candy to hungry, sleep-deprived college students.  I am so glad I chose to work for CSSP (in my opinion, a REAL job) so that I could meet all of these wonderful, wonderful people.  For the first time in my working experience, coming to work is something I look forward to.

My previous two jobs were great (I worked at HoneybakedHam and for my local gynecologist)– I loved everyone I worked for, but honestly there are just so many hams you can sell before they start appearing periodically in your dreams, and the same goes for– well, you can imagine what type of literature is associated with working for a gynecologist.  Everything I’ve done for CSSP is so unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and everyone, staff and students, has had such a great impact on me.  I have so many ideas now for CSSP and UCHS for things like college entrance and SAT prep and reading and . . . I could go on and on.  The practicality of said ideas?  Questionable.  But the fact that they’re actually in my mind shows me how much this organization has impacted my way of thinking.  It is so much more than a work study job.

–Megan McMonigle, Penn ’14

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