Gene Corbin, Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Public Service
Over 500 students are devoting their summer breaks to serving others and tackling critical social issues through amazing experiences funded by public service organizations at Harvard College. Such opportunities abound and include:
- serving with nonprofit organizations in cities across the country through the Center for Public Interest Careers (CPIC);
- making important contributions to government and public policy in internships provided by the Institute of Politics (IOP) – including numerous positions in Washington DC;
- and providing summer camps for youth living in underserved communities in Boston through the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA).
Additionally, many students apply to the Office of Career Services for fellowships or grants to fund their own public service pursuits – including projects throughout the world made possible by David Rockefeller International Experience Grants.
Although only a drop in the bucket of the good work students are doing this summer, below are three examples:
Tyrell Dixon is a rising Senior from Baltimore. Thanks to the Center for Public Interest Careers, Tyrell is working at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Justice Department in New York City this summer. Through interacting with clients, shadowing attorneys, sitting-in on court cases, and forging his own personal relationships with clients and attorneys, Tyrell is experiencing first-hand the way the law impacts individual lives.
Julia Konrad is a rising Senior from New York City. She received a Director’s Internship from the Institute of Politics (IOP) to work for the US Department of Education in Secretary Arne Duncan’s Office. Julia is having an unbelievable summer helping plan many important events – including the 30th Anniversary of Title IX where she brought people together to celebrate this landmark amendment for gender equality including Secretary Arne Duncan (the slightly taller person next to Julia in the photo).
Meredith Arra is a rising Sophomore from Georgia. She became involved in public service immediately upon arriving at Harvard College – beginning with the First Year Urban Program. Meredith is devoting her summer to teaching 6 and 7 year-old youth in the Phillips Brooks House Association’s (PBHA) Chinatown Adventure Camp – one of the 12 camps in PBHA’s Summer Urban Program. She’s focusing her efforts on healthy living and nutrition to combat obesity.
All of the above programs represent not only a chance to serve others, but also the opportunity to benefit from life-changing relationships and experiences. Every fall, I have countless conversations with students who have new insights about themselves and what they want to do with their lives – including many students who return motivated to pursue a public interest career.
More information on the opportunities Tyler, Julia, and Meredith pursued, and many more, can be found by clicking the summer opportunities tab at www.publicservice.fas.harvard.edu. I, along with the other staff members in our public service organizations, look forward to helping all students at the college pursue these exciting opportunities!
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