This is part of series of posts by recipients of the 2020 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Lelinna Hinh, SP2 ’21
When I was accepted to the Mayor’s Internship Program (MIP), I was excited for the opportunity. This would be the first of many steps for me diving in and learning more about local governments. I had many reasons for applying to MIP but one of the biggest reasons was I wanted to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of how policies were made and established and the advocacy work local governments did for their constitutes. Through the program, an intern is selected to work with a department within City Hall, and fortunately I was paired up with an accomplished, wonderful, outspoken, advocate for women’s rights, Jovida Hill, Executive Director for the Philadelphia Engagement for Women.
Unfortunately, 2020 would not be like most other years; COVID-19 had put a damper on many internships and activities. However, even with things being put on hold, Director Hill and Internship Program Manager, Jacob Adeniran, worked with me so I would still gain the knowledge I was looking for. Before everything was shut down, Director Hill needed an intern before the summer program started, so in early Spring, I was able to learn what it was like to be within the office setting before transitioning into remote work. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet those, while I still could, who worked under the umbrella of the Philadelphia Engagement for Women.
Under Director Hill’s tutelage, I was able to explore her role in advocacy work and how she has been helping marginalized group through grant working, fundraising, and attempting change policies which was meant to help those in Philadelphia but sadly have fallen short. I was able to take some of the skills and theories I learned as a first-year Social Worker and applied it to what Director Hill was teaching me. She showed me the reports of the housing crisis Philadelphia was facing and why the homeless population was starting to rise. I was asked to research that topic a little more deeply and to look into what other states have done to help their housing problem. I was able to hone my research skills a little more during this process.
Even with how quickly and rapidly paced City Hall is, I was still amazed at how everyone still made time for one another. Director Hill made it clear that she cared for the people in Philadelphia but also cared for those who worked in her office. She made sure to let those around her know she appreciated the work they did each and every day. Even though, I learned very quickly how busy Director Hill was between meetings, phone calls running to different departments, but she made sure to always find time for me whether to answer questions or to sit down and have a chat. I know I was able to continue this opportunity with the help of the Career Center. I had another job lined up in which it would have helped with necessitates such as housing, food, transportation but with COVID-19, it fell through; so, through the generous funding of the summer grant, I was able to continue on this journey without having to worry about how I will be able to afford a meal or if I was able to pay for my apartment.