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by Rohini Nott
Tempe, AZ – Seven high school students joined the ASU Project Humanities team as summer interns. These students will dedicate their summer to a diverse range of tasks – writing press releases, facilitating social media, editing documents, doing academic research, assisting at events, and sharing their ideas--all while working alongside and mentored by ASU faculty and staff. Their assignments were designed to further enhance a skill set that is part of each student’s area of study and/or professional development goals.
Social media intern Kendren Abbott, a dance enthusiast, is a senior at ASU Preparatory Academy and joined the team this summer because she wants to “grow as a person and understand different topics and situations that happen all around the world.” She knows that interning with Project Humanities will be a productive and meaningful way to spend and enjoy her summer.
Social media intern Collin Brewer is also a senior at ASU Preparatory Academy and chose to intern with Project Humanities because “their mission is so close to his heart.” He enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and photography. Collin wants to be a photojournalist and a nurse.
Roderick Peralta-Castillo, a senior at ASU Preparatory Academy, is a research intern who loves to read, write, blog, and take pictures. His interest in Project Humanities came because he saw it “as an opportunity to broaden his worldview, while also impacting the community in a positive way and making new relationships.”
Melissa Koury, a senior at Betty H. Fairfax High School, is interested in the visual and performing arts, specifically painting, ceramics, and theater. She joined Project Humanities because she knew it would give her “some insight into other cultures, while teaching human kindness.” She looks forward to using what she learns from the internship not only in her art and the Be a Leader Foundation this fall, but also in her day-to-day life. Already, Melissa has volunteered extensively with the Project’s Day of Service to a downtown homeless community.
Dava Newell, a senior at Desert Vista High School, plays multiple instruments, enjoys coaching a middle school cheer team, and is a Junior Leader for Younglife. She joined Project Humanities because it is “a great organization because it brings light to a lot of topics that aren’t otherwise highly discussed.”
Returning Project Humanities writing intern Rohini Nott is a senior at BASIS Chandler. Rohini is also interning at Barrow Neurological Institute, volunteering and working as a medical scribe at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and Chandler Regional Hospital, and playing futsal. She continues to intern with Project Humanities because of its emphasis on mutual understanding between generations and communities socially, politically, and personally.
Writing intern Gabriela Scott, a senior at Westwood High School, loves reading, writing, and watching all Disney movies Disney. Gabriela joined Project Humanities because of the “positive interconnectedness through communication” it offers across political, socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural boundaries.
“Each intern brings their own individual talents, interests, personality, and energy to the Project Humanities team,” said Project Humanities Coordinator Sharon Torres. “We are grateful that they have chosen to spend their summer vacation with us. They have kept us alive on social media, built up our online database of resources, and helped us plan two of our biggest upcoming programs in the fall. It has been a wonderful experience working and learning alongside a fun, talented, and engaged group of high school students.”
The five- to seven-week internship program not only provides students on-the-job training and industry experience but it also introduces them to aspects of ASU campus life. Each intern, through written and oral reflection and self-reflection, is challenged to make “talking, listening, connecting” – Project Humanities’ mission – a best practice by engaging in meaningful conversations about critical issues taking place locally and around the world today. Developing social responsibility and personal accountability by actively participating are lessons they can take with them beyond their summer experience.
This is the second year that Project Humanities, multiple award-winning initiatives at ASU, has hosted summer high school interns. Says Dr. Neal A. Lester, Founding Director of Project Humanities, “These bright and energetic students hold so much promise for advocating for the importance of humanities and humanist work as they explore and develop their own areas of professional and personal interests. We are very fortunate to have their presence once again.”