Profiles: Teaching Assistant Zen Ben

Technology is a big part of Empow Learning, but so is community and personal growth. While our teachers love helping kids express themselves through creative projects, we also love helping students grow as they return year to year. We’re highlighting some of the remarkable students that make our programs so special, starting with Zen Ben.

After returning to our program for years as a student, Ben expressed an interested in helping and joined our team as a Teaching Assistant. Here he shares some of his experiences and personal interests with us.

Ben 1

When I started going to [Empow Workshop], it seemed like suddenly I was going to a camp that really allowed me to express myself in ways I wanted to. Instead of being forced to do activities I didn’t want to do, it allowed me to choose the direction of the time I spent at camp. I also really appreciated the fact that I was with both kids and counselors that had similar interests that I did. I had a wonderful time getting to know everyone, and [the program] expanded both my creative and social horizons.

I knew after a few years of being a camper that I really wanted to continue working with the camp, even though I was getting to be too old to be a camper. I was transitioned into the role of being a Teaching Assistant. The job really has been an all around great experience for me- I get to continue to work with technology I’m interested in with people I want to be around. Additionally, I am learning how to teach and supervise kids, which is a skill I may use later in my life, since I have considered teaching as a career option. Even though I’m not a camper anymore, I am still learning a lot, including from the campers!

I have many different interests. I love reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels. I have a deep passion for learning and studying history. I also consider myself an occasional writer. I love drawing (sometimes I tend to draw on my notes in school) and making digital art. I also enjoy all kinds of music, and sometimes experiment with digital music. To me, video games aren’t just a hobby- they’re a lifestyle! I also enjoy exercise, particularly running. Overall, I am an avid learner and my favorite thing to do is learn new things whenever I can.