Name: Megan Mattson
Major: International Affairs with a concentration in Development Minor: Arabic
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Junior Megan Mattson brings her passion and kind-spirit into everything she does. Her
hard work and positive attitude have positioned her as a role model among her peers in
GW ESA. This past semester, Megan had the incredible opportunity to study abroad and
intern in Amman, Jordan. Read about Megan's experience and what she learned while living and working in Jordan.
We all see the stories on the news. Trouble in the Middle East. People fleeing
faulty governments. Borders being closed. I knew the general situation I was entering
into when I chose to study abroad in Amman, Jordan. But little did I know the amazing
people I would come to meet who had been through the worst of those situations, and
how they would become my friends and greatest role models.
When I came to Jordan, I had the opportunity to intern with my study abroad
program. I was lucky enough to land a job with the Collateral Repair Project (CRP), a
small nonprofit that provides emergency assistance to urban refugees in East Amman.
I had no idea what to expect, heading into a new part of the city far from where I lived.
From the first day I knew I was working somewhere special. I was immediately treated
like a member of the family, sitting down for lunch with the coworkers of chicken, salad,
potatoes, and the ever popular Pepsi. I quickly got to know my coworkers, becoming
a valued worker and member of the CRP family. I helped with fundraising and event
planning, contacted local businesses, conducted research for CRP, wrote articles for their
website, and redid CRP's informational flyers.
What made this internship so different was I was able to see the direct impact
my work was making. Over time I heard the stories of my coworkers and the people
we were helping. A man I worked beside had been kicked out of Iraq, the government
killing several of his family members, forcing him to live in Jordan. A woman I met was
pregnant and just had her food aid cut, and may have to return to Syria if she can't find
help. I was shocked the happy people around me had such harrowing stories, and I was
motivated to do everything I could to help the people who were becoming my support
system as I lived in an entirely new country. I knew when I raised funds, that meant more
people were being fed. I started each day wanting to help as much as possible, and I'm
proud of what I achieved with this attitude. I will never forget the stories I heard and the amazing people I met at CRP. My time there reminded me just how important community service is to my life, even if it is not among my own community. This is why being a member of ESA is so important to me, and this is why I want to give back even more as I move forward and start to think about my career path.