SUP Spotlight: PBHA Secretary Begins First Summer with CHAD

Leszek Krol, a rising junior at Harvard College, shares his hopes for the Chinatown Adventure Program in his first summer as a director for the Summer Urban Program.

Leszek Krol ’18 stands outside Lowell House, temporary home to nearly all 130 college students that make up SUP’s senior staff.


Name: Leszek Krol

Year: Harvard College ‘18

Concentration: Philosophy

Programs: Chinatown Afterschool and Chinatown Adventure (CHAD)

 

Leszek Krol became involved with PBHA the fall of his freshman year, as a tutor with the Chinatown Afterschool Program.  Since then, he has held the positions of Grade Coordinator and Director for the program.  This summer will be his first with the Summer Urban Program (SUP), where he will be a director for Chinatown Adventure.  Hailing from Methuen, MA, Leszek also sits on the board of the Harvard Association for US-China Relations and the Radcliffe Union of Students and is a member of the International Relations Council (IRC) and the Institute of Politics (IOP). He currently serves as the Secretary of PBHA on the student Officers team. We sat down with Leszek to learn more about his goals for CHAD this summer.

 

PBHA: Why did you decide to spend your summer with SUP?

Leszek Krol: SUP provides both directors and senior counselors the ability to develop real-world skills that they can keep with them after the summer, and allows me to continue working with the Chinatown community over the summer, developing deeper, yearlong relationships with the children that participate in our programs, and their families.

PBHA: What initiatives is CHAD specifically working on?

LK: CHAD is focusing on identity this summer, particularly developing confidence in our students’ own Asian American identities, and fostering an understanding of other racial groups through collaborations with other camps, particularly Franklin-IO.

PBHA: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned thus far as a director?

LK: There have already been so many, but I think most of all CHAD has taught me that it’s impossible to do something this big alone.

PBHA: What are you most anxious about for the summer?

LK: Like the rest of the SUP directors, I could walk you through a million different nightmare scenarios that might happen this summer (a lost swimmer, a camper separated from the group on a field trip, a fire at our site, the list goes on). But I try to view these scenarios as opportunities. If we can envision a crisis, we can, at least to some degree, prepare for it.

PBHA: What are you most excited about for the summer?

LK: I’m really looking forward to getting to see our campers and their families once again. They are whom this program is really meant to be for. Sometimes, as many of my fellow directors know, all of the back-end logistical work that comes with licensing and scheduling and trainings can take its toll. Being able see all of the work we’ve put in come together will, I think, provide a sense of validation for this work, to confirm that it was all worthwhile.