Interview questions for Northfield Reads & Counts and
the Off-Campus Work Study Program Participants
Name: Molly Pappenheim ’11
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
I work at the Northfield Middle School Youth Center. I help supervise the kids in the program, provide discipline, help with homework and lead group activities. I am responsible for promoting and maintaining an environment of safety and respect. I’ve found that working directly with people makes the time I spend feel a lot more productive and worthwhile. I also enjoy the change of scenery, both in terms of location and age of groups. One of the challenges of working off campus is that the hours are less flexible, however it is so refreshing to leave the St. Olaf bubble! I also love working with the students in the honor house.
The site supervisor Jen Winterfeldt is very understanding of my demands as a student because she is a recent Ole grad herself. She is concerned with my welfare in all aspects of life. Working at the NMSYC has taught me a lot about patience and the responsibility that comes with authority. Being put into the education system in this way shows me how much work needs to be done, especially for those kids who are falling through the cracks and it makes me want to teach.
I work at the Youth Center about six hours a week, and another six hours at an on-campus job. It can be a challenge to fit it all in, but I find that leaving campus is a break from my normal day and sort of revitalizes me. The CEL off campus work-study site made it really easy to find open positions and apply for jobs.
My goal for the end of the year is to get to know the kids better—half of them don’t even know my name! By the end of the year I want them to see me as someone who isn’t just there to discipline them, but who spends time with them because I care. It’s hard to really get to know the kids because there is no one-on-one time, but I think they accept my presence. As for the staff, we work as a team. We all know when a day isn’t going well and we support each other. I look forward to seeing them when I go to work.