A Postcard From: Emma Lasky ’18

laskyName: Emma Lasky

Year: 2018

Major: Biology, Minor: Environmental Studies

Internship Placement: USDA Forest Service

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I am working with the USDA Forest Service all over the Philadelphia Area. I am aiding a field researcher who is studying the effects of an invasive pest known as the emerald ash borer and its effects on forest health. Understanding the consequences of these pests helps the city of Philadelphia plan effective methods to remove the pests and identify potential dead trees that could be hazardous to the public. For the past week I have been battling my way through the dense rose bushes that inhabit Wissahickon Park, but other weeks have consisted of ducking under fallen logs in Fairmount Park and tip-toeing through stinging nettle in Pennypack Park – this is definitely not easy work! My advisor and I spend several hours each day in a plot with a circumference 25.24 meters, calculating tree girth, identifying herbaceous plants, estimating foliage density and many collecting other numbers. My two favorite parts of my internship is the daily challenge of identifying plants and how we go to a different location every day.

Here is a photo of me in the first week of my internship attempting to identify plants in a 2×2 meter space out in Pennypack Park. As you can see behind me, there is a lot of foliage that needs to be categorized. We use paper and pencil to record information, which is an effective way of collecting data until it starts to rain!

How I heard about my internship:

I began my internship search in the summer of 2015 and was expecting to work in a research lab on the West Coast, however I was unsure of where and how I wanted to spend my summer so I kept looking. This led me to searching around on Bryn Mawr’s website, which is when I found out about a spring break STEM intensive session. The session consisted of environmental science and public health topics – a lot of professionals in those two fields came in to speak to the students who signed up for the session. During this session there was a networking lunch that I took advantage of and made several contacts. After the lunch I followed up with the contacts, made some straightforward calls and found myself with more summer options to choose from that were conveniently located in the Philadelphia Area. Everyone should participate in the spring and fall break intensives – the worst case scenario is that you get free food and some professional contacts!

A Postcard From: Hydiya Abubakar ’17

Hydiya AbubakarName: Hydiya Abubakar

Year: 2017

Major: Biology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

My internship is at Esperanza Health Center. I have been working in the administrative office which has a lot of the behind the scenes work that helps make the health center function smoothly. I have worked on some projects such as updating patients insurances on Esperanza’s new software system that is less than a year old and checking/updating records to make sure that patients 18 or younger have had their most recent well child checks (physical exams) yearly (if not, then alerts would be sent out to remind them). The internship is going very well. The staff are very welcoming and I am learning so much about how much detail and persistence goes into handling medical information.

How I heard about my internship:

I heard about this internship through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on campus. IVCF was running a program where students could explore how faith can be applied when working in one’s vocation and how faith can be applied in working to try to reduce injustices in the communities that one may work with. Esperanza Health Center was one of the places offered to me.

Why I applied for my internship:

I applied for this internship because I am interested in the health field and Esperanza takes a holistic approach that really tries to help cater to patients’ needs and health. For example, Esperanza offers prayer if patients feel that they need spiritual uplifting, majority of the staff are required to be bilingual (Spanish and English), and Esperanza offers behavioral counseling, nutrition classes, and fitness classes all conveniently located at the health center. I was very excited to have an opportunity to learn and work in this environment.

A Postcard From: Jingling Li ’17

myxj_20160509114547_fastName: Jingling Li

Year: 2017

Major: Computer Science

Internship Placement: I will be working on a theoretical research at the University of Maryland this summer. It is a research to help me gain the experience of designing and improving algorithms. I really hope I could have solid exploration this summer.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

It is coming to an end of my summer research and so far, I think it is the best research experience I have ever had during my college life, which also opens a good end to the independent research I will be working on for my senior thesis.

Reading the paper

Reading the paper

I worked in a group of 4 people on scheduling problems such as concurrent open shop and coflow scheduling. This REU group has 16 students in total and 14 of us live in the same building, which provides us with many great opportunities to know about each other and do fun stuff together. There are two things that really surprised me this summer. One is that I happen to share a room with Teddy whom I have been a friend on Facebook and Renren (Chineses facebook) for around 4 years but never met or talked in person before, and the other is that these friends even prepared a cat birthday cake for my 21 birthday and I felt really moved. Beyond great personal communications, they are also very professional as research teammates and again I felt in love with teamwork.

cake

Though it is time to say goodbye to my summer, I really enjoy everything happened this summer and best wishes to my roommate Teddy (will come to visit you at NYC)!

A Postcard From: Ayesha Islam

ayesha_islam_photographName: Ayesha Islam

Year: 2019

Major: Undeclared

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

When I was in high school, I flagged Center for American Progress as a public policy think tank I’d be interested in working for as a college student. I didn’t know how I’d figure out the details – where in Washington D.C. would I live? How could I afford housing and food? Who would I live with? Was I even qualified for the position? Could I take care of myself alone? Now as the summer is quickly approaching its end, I still can’t believe that everything somehow worked out. Not only did I get an incredible experience interning with Center for American Progress’ Generation Progress department, but I also survived on my own in a brand new city. I made incredible friends that will last a lifetime, explored the nooks and crannies of Washington D.C., and learned so much about myself. This summer allowed me a glimpse into what life could be like after graduating college and getting a first job in a new city.

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I’ve had exciting opportunities both in and out of the job. From hitting up all the good brunch spots, hopping from one Smithsonian to the next, to catching outdoor movies under the moon, sitting by Georgetown waterfront and talking about life, and finding late-night poetry open mics, there is never a shortage of things to do in Washington D.C. Through my work at Center for American Progress, I attended a White House forum, researched a diverse array of issues including climate change, higher education, criminal justice reform, and campus sexual assault, learned from senior policy experts at the top of their fields, connected with intelligent staff members and fellow interns, attended #BlackLivesMatter protests and gun violence prevention rallies, wrote about topics I’m passionate about, and got a chance to hear from brilliant figures like Melissa Harris-Perry and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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Now that summer is ending and the fall semester is just a few weeks away, there are bittersweet feelings all around. I will miss the people and places I’m leaving behind, but I’m excited to move forward!

A Postcard From: Emma Wells ’17

img_1383Name: Emma Wells

Year: 2017

Major: English

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

I am spending my summer interning with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, a Philadelphia-based theater company that makes original, ensemble-created work. This internship has been immensely encouraging to me, both because of the people I’ve been lucky to work with and because of the exciting, innovative nature of Team Sunshine’s work.

Because theater doesn’t run on the typical 9-5, Monday-Friday schedule, I’ve been enjoying an unpredictable workweek. The only part of my schedule that stands still is a weekly four-hour administrative meeting, which has come to be my favorite part of the week. At these meetings with the three company co-founders, I get to see how the gears of the company work together, and I feel empowered to one day start a company of my own.

I’m serving as Assistant Director on The Sincerity Project (2016), which will be part of the curated portion of the 2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September. The Sincerity Project is a 24-year iterative performance project in which the same seven performers reconvene every two years to create a new installment. The show I’m working on is the second iteration, so I am having the unusual experience of seeing how an ensemble evolves previous work into something new. Working in the rehearsal room has been really inspiring and informative, as I learn how a professional company can prolifically create new work.

I’ve been enjoying spending my time in Philadelphia and getting to know South Philly better in particular. I can now officially call myself a disgruntled Septa commuter, although I’ve been getting lots of reading done on my two-hour commute from the suburbs.

A Postcard From: Emma Porter ’17

12931261_10207431004385926_303622464008508928_nName: Emma Porter

Year: 2017

Major: Political Science

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer I have been teaching English to students in Pingxiang, China with the non-profit organization “Learning Journey in China”. I have never been this far from home, nor have I ever had a full-time teaching position, so this opportunity comes with a lot of new experiences and challenges. We just completed our first session of teaching, and I can observe a boost in confidence in each student’s English communication. We play games and put on performances for each other, all the while they get the opportunity to practice English. My students have been the most creative, thoughtful, talented, and ambitious children I have ever met and have taught me so much, too. They are eager to learn and to share their home with me. One of the students’ favorite activities is KTV (Karaoke), and we often sing American pop songs and dance together during our breaks. Not only am I able to experience a new country, but I have also been able to develop many friendships amongst the other teachers. This shared experience helped each of us grow close in a short amount of time, and we each value the opportunity to explore a new environment and take on new challenges, (of which there has been many). Learning Journey in China has pushed me outside my comfort zone in a way that has strengthened me and has given me new perspectives that I will take with me when I return to Bryn Mawr in the fall and beyond.

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My (very silly) intermediate class.

The view from my classroom.

The view from my classroom.

A Postcard From: Yeidaly Mejia ’19

thumbnail_img_2116Name: Yeidaly Mejia

Year: 2019

Major: Undeclared

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer I am interning at the ACLAMO Family Center in Norristown and the Civic Engagement Office here at Bryn Mawr. The ACLAMO Family Center is a non-profit organization that provides social services and education programs to the Latinx/Hispanic community in Norristown. During the summer, ACLAMO holds a summer program for rising first-nineth graders called Summerbridge. Summerbridge is designed to help the students bridge the gap between the academic years. This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be the science teacher for the older students (4th-9th graders) on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the older cohort accompanied by myself and the two other teachers, would head to the Morris Arboretum where they had science lessons. I have been able to gain hands on teaching experience and have grown closer with the students and their families.

mejia

As for the Civic Engagement piece, I worked closely with the office and ACLAMO to coordinate a week long program for the ADELANTE high school students. This program ran from July 25th-July 29th. We had a focus in Math and the Connections between Education, Careers, and Jobs. Each day, the students had workshops involving the theme in addition to workshops revolving college access and social issues. I was even able to work with the person who started ADELANTE, Ana Cordova, for the week! This week was extremely rewarding because I got to know all the high school students and saw them grow so much in just a week.

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Why I applied to my internship:

As I volunteered with ADELANTE this past year, I fell in love with the program and the ACLAMO organization. In the fall, I will be the ADELANTE Coordinator with Aditi Sriram. I have grown close with the students but wanted to learn more about the organization since I was only there once a week with a select group. I was extremely excited when I heard about this summer opportunity and it felt like a perfect fit considering I want to work with students and college access in the future.

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A Postcard From: Rebeca Salas ’19

portraitName: Rebeca Salas

Year: 2019

Major: Sociology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer, I have been interning at Providence Center in North Philadelphia. There, I have been the “College Access Support Intern.” My work has consisted of surveying Providence’s high school students’ college guidance needs and filling in the gaps. To do this, I have been working on a college access resource guide and hosting a “College 101” style workshop for the students. (Fun fact: The workshop happened yesterday, and it was a huge success!) Interning at the Providence Center has been incredibly rewarding. The experience has assured me that, after college, I will likely pursue a career in the area of college access programming/coordination. Additionally, the experience has given me a Philadelphia nonprofit to serve at during the academic year.

Why I applied for my internship:

I reached out to Providence Center about a summer internship because the community it serves resonates with me. Providence’s high school students are predominantly Latino, first-generation college students, like I am. I am doing the college access work for them because I want to help them feel more prepared and comfortable with the college process.

How I heard about my internship:

I learned about Providence Center in talking to Nell Anderson from Civic Engagement. She thought it would be a perfect fit, so I emailed them. The internship in college access work does not exist there, however, so I created it in conjunction with their staff.

A Postcard From: Al-Tiyanah Williams ’18

Name: Al-Tiyanah Williams

Year: 2018

Major: Sociology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer, I interned at Decarcerate PA, a grass roots organization hoping to end mass incarceration rate in Philadelphia. I have met a lot of wonderful people who are passionate about making a change within their own communities and fight against a system that has oppressed minorities for many years. By being a part of an organization like this has helped me grow as a leader and to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.

How I learned about my internship:

I was interested in non-profit organizations in Philadelphia that focused on social justice issues. I learned about Decarcerate from another student who interned at one of their partner sites. Connections are very useful!

Why I applied for my internship:

I applied for my internship because I wanted a new experience in which I felt that I could truly make a difference, even if I am with them for a short period of time.

A Postcard From: Kanai Gandhi ’17

img_5315Name: Kanai Gandhi

Year: 2017

Major: Psychology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

I am an intern at the Pre-School Mental Health Program conducted by the Central Behavioral Health organization. I am very thankful that I got an opportunity that gives me the ability to combine my major in Psychology and minor in Education in order to work with children between the ages of 3-5. I really enjoy working thee because these children create a whole different environment than the one we find at Bryn Mawr. Through this internship I have been learning different kinds of therapeutic approaches and mediums through which one can communicate with a child who is experiencing a learning delay. I have also met some wonderful people and ventured out to new places in Philly that I never knew even existed!

How I heard about my internship?

I actually heard it through a friend of mine who is also a psychology major. For most of my other internships LanternLink was the best and the most convenient options, but if that doesn’t work, make sure to ask as many people as you can!

Why I applied for my internship:

I applied because I wanted to experience what working with children that have learning delays was like. I had always studied it or observed it from afar, but through this internship I actually got to experience being one of the trusted advisors in the facility and taking the responsibility of a handful of kids.