Individual in spotlight

Staff Spotlight: Charlie Yeldham

Meet Charlie Yeldham one of our 2021 Program Assistants! Charlie is from St. Louis and is a rising junior at WashU, where he is majoring in Political Science and Secondary Education in addition to a minor in History. Charlie is the Executive Chair of Washington University’s The LEAD Project, the Music Director for the a cappella group After Dark, and an active member of a few other clubs on campus. In his free time, Charlie likes to listen to music, follow current events, watch and play basketball, and spend time with friends. After graduating from WashU, Charlie hopes to pursue a career as a high school social studies teacher and stay involved with local politics.

What is your favorite part about working with our programs?

Above all else, I love the people involved with WashU Pre-College Programs. For a start, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my students; not only are they kind and respectful, but they hold themselves to high standards and genuinely care about bettering themselves. Moreover, I bonded well with my co-workers despite never having met them in person. Everyone with whom I worked was communicative, friendly, and dedicated to optimizing this program's success. 

What do you believe is the most important takeaway for students?

This summer’s WashU Pre-College Programs presented unique challenges to students that previous attendees did not undertake, especially because all of this year’s courses were conducted virtually. However, instead of letting these obstacles bog them down, Pre-College students rose up not only to complete their courses, but to thrive in them. Consequently, I believe that through this program, students learned the importance of tenacity and pushed themselves to be even better than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

What has this job taught you?

This job has taught me how to form connections with others in a virtual environment. From coordinating programs with my fellow staff, to executing events over Zoom, and even to reaching out to students over email, through my work with WashU Pre-College Programs, I learned how to engage with my peers and advisees in a more productive fashion. Furthermore, this job has augmented the importance of flexibility to me. Naturally, a program with hundreds of students requires adaptability from its staff; for example, my co-workers and I often volunteered to help each other conduct meetings on a moment’s notice.

What would you like potential staff to know about working with our programs?

Working as a Program Assistant for WashU Pre-College Programs has been highly rewarding, because I can easily observe the impact I have left on my students. Whether I am helping a program attendee overcome an academic hurdle or brightening their day by playing a virtual game with them, through this job, I can directly work to improve students’ summer experiences. I have loved my experience with WashU Pre-College Programs, so if you enjoy working with middle school and high school-aged students, I strongly recommend that you apply to this job. I will never forget the lessons I have learned and the memories I have made with this program!


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