Alumni Feature: Liad Ben-Eli

Internship in the Science Classroom

Liad Ben-Eli ‘18 attended high school at the Institute for Collaborative Education, where graduating seniors are required to complete a second-semester internship. In the spring of 2022, when the time came for Liad to choose an internship, she wanted hers to be STEM-related. She was discussing various options with her family when her little sister Laliv ‘22 suggested, “You should come to school with me!” Liad loved the idea, immediately thought of her Middle School Science teacher Kimesha Reid-Grant, and did not hesitate before contacting her about the possibility of interning at ISB, the school she says “where I’ve always felt most at home.”

Working with Kimesha was an obvious choice for Liad, who told Lingua Franca that “Looking back, Miss Kim is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She always pushes her students to succeed and sets them up for success. She really wants you to do well.” After Liad’s decision was made and she reached out, it didn’t take long to get the green light for her internship in Kimesha’s Science classroom. In Liad’s words, “I emailed Miss Kim. We Zoomed the very next day, she said she’d be happy to have me, and it was all set up. Just like that!”

Liad was thrilled to be headed back to ISB; she told us that “Talking to Miss Kim again, in a second, I was like, yeah, this is what I want to do.” Her enthusiasm was based on her wonderful memories of her time in Middle School, and she shared that “I love Miss Kim and I love ISB. ISB helped build up my confidence as a student. I felt immersed in so many different cultures and I learned so much! Going into my first year of high school, I felt really well-prepared.”

Miss Kim and Liad reunite in the name of science!

Liad had a wonderful time being re-immersed in life at ISB and said she “would encourage other alumni to come back.” In her experience, “Graduating from ISB is a very special thing…”

When her internship with Kimesha was in full swing, we caught up with Liad who was helping out in several Science classes and in a variety of ways! When describing the work she was doing under Miss Kim’s guidance, she told us that it “changes from day to day, but a lot of it is helping to set up for labs and bouncing around from student to student and group to group while Miss Kim is teaching.” Liad’s internship also included a project component and she told us she was “happy to be helping to design the new ISB Middle School Science Google Site!” As a bonus, Liad was having a wonderful time being reimmersed in life at ISB and let us know that she “would encourage other alumni to come back.” In her experience, “Graduating from ISB is a very special thing, especially because it’s a small school. I feel a sense of community at ISB that I haven’t really felt at any other school I’ve gone to, and I’ve gone to a lot of schools!” 

In the fall of 2022, Liad began her college career at Northeastern University, where she is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Computer Science. After her undergraduate education, she hopes to continue to study medicine in a field related to pediatrics and emergency care. She is also “a hundred percent going to study abroad.” She explained that “a really great resource that ISB gave me is the study abroad experience I had when we did the Costa Rica trip in 7th Grade. Going on that trip, staying with a host family, and being independent for a week gave me some real familiarity with the idea of studying abroad. It taught me that I can figure things out on my own and can feel okay living on my own for a time. It did wonders for my sense of independence, and I’m actually still in touch with my host family from Costa Rica!”

According to Miss Kim (Middle School Science Department Head Kimesha Reid-Grant), “Liad’s presence and support in the classroom was invaluable during her time here. She helped to organize and set up labs and explained concepts and instructions to students individually. She helped out in other Middle School Science classrooms as well, and she attended field trips with the 6th Grade class. She also worked really hard on organizing our new Science website! The website features student projects, and is a way for parents to observe student work.” Kimesha added “Liad has such a strong work ethic. She’s confident, driven, independent, and goal-oriented. I identify with her, particularly, because she knows what she wants. When I was a high school student in Jamaica I also knew what I wanted when I went to study Marine Biology in Otro Rios. I set my compass and went for it.” 

Kimesha’s vision of Liad’s future is a bright one. She said “We have no doubt that Liad will achieve all she sets out to do, and we will always be here to support her as an ISB family. She will be out there raising the ISB flag high for us.” Kimesha also spoke about how Liad’s internship was a pilot program of sorts, highlighting that this mentorship was the first of its kind. Now she’s looking ahead “hoping that this is something that will continue and that other alums, who are familiar with IB and understand the core values of the school, will come back to support our students.”