The idea of a gap year was pretty foreign to me when I first started working with Dynamy. It was back in 2010 (I think. Who can remember that far back?) when I sponsored my first intern from Dynamy. I was overseeing an intensive acute residential treatment facility for young children in Worcester at the time. Even though I did not know much about gap years or what it was exactly that Dynamy did, I dove right in and took in my first intern from the program. From my first day working with the that intern, I started to learn more and developed a love for the program and what Dynamy was all about.
After a few more interns from Dynamy came through my program, a position at Dynamy opened up and I quickly applied. I received the position and became the Assistant Program Director at Dynamy, a position I held for 4 years. It was 4 of the best years of my life. Working at Dynamy gave me an even better perspective on the students, the program and why this place was so special. The bonds I developed with students, staff and families while working at Dynamy were unmatched and still exist to this day.
However, my career aspirations took me away from Dynamy in 2016 in a truly bittersweet moment for me. I left Dynamy to become a high level administrator for YOU, Inc. But, my work with Dynamy was far from over. I continued to work with and mentor Dynamy students in this position. I then left that position to switch up my career completely to follow my passions in technology, web design, and marketing (something that is encouraged at Dynamy- FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS!). During my time at a local IT, web design and security company, I was responsible for implementing and optimizing its new internship program. Dynamy was my first call. During my two years at this company, we hosted 8 interns from the program.
In January, I left that company to start my own web design and digital marketing agency, 141 Creative. Since starting my own company, I have hired two of my former Dynamy interns to part-time positions with the hope of those growing into full-time positions in the next year.
Why is Dynamy Unlike Other Gap Year Programs?
Since I first learned about Dynamy and began working with the students and staff there, it held a special place in my heart. I was drawn to the mission, the techniques and the motto: Create Your Life. This manifested itself in many ways for me. I used it as a mantra for my students I sponsored or that I advised when I worked for Dynamy. More importantly, I lived the motto myself. Always wondering, what did I want in life? This question led me to where I am today. I can honestly attribute where I am- a small business owner, doing what he loves every day, to my time at Dynamy.
Sponsoring students as interns taught me as much as I hopefully taught them. Watching these young adults fearlessly throw themselves into the unknown is inspiring to me. They are put into real-world working situations with little to no experience handling that type of stress or responsibility. Yet, they find a way to adapt and persevere. Most students take a gap year because they are unsure of what is next and Dynamy is better than any other alternative I have come across in helping them gain some clarity. Whether it be the internships, independent living, community involvement or social interactions, everything at Dynamy is done intentionally, with a purpose to help students find their passions and become more confident. Experiential learning is the core principle of Dynamy. Learning by doing is often the most effective way to retain information and engage young adults in taking control of their future.
During my time as an internship sponsor, I’ve seen Dynamy students complete and achieve amazing things. During my time at the residential treatment, I saw a student develop and implement a meaningful and engaging activity curriculum for the children in our care. While working as an administrator at YOU, Inc., one of my interns developed a complex solution for analyzing data from training attendees and helped to plan and coordinate large multi-agency trainings. During my time at the tech company, students designed and developed real customer websites from scratch and created eye-catching graphics for businesses to use on their social media and digital advertisement material. Dynamy students even helped in the design and development of the Dynamy website when we were tasked with creating their new website in 2019!
Watching these young people thrive in these environments is truly amazing and makes Dynamy the clear choice for a gap year in my eyes. More young adults should be considering gap years and Dynamy especially to help prepare them for the real-world.
After all these years, I’ve personally supervised and mentored a dozen Dynamy students as interns in my various positions. These students have all been unique in their own way but they each contributed something to the workplaces they were in. Each student taught me a little about myself as well. That’s what separates Dynamy from other programs in my opinion. You see the students put into uncomfortable and new positions and they usually thrive. They work hard on themselves and that work isn’t always easy. It should be a lesson to all of us to embrace the unknown, take appropriate risks, and to live your life in the best way you can.
Dynamy is a leading domestic gap year program that helps students find their independence and passions. Reach out to Dynamy today to learn if it’s the right fit for you!