My Summer at

Samuel Lee, SEAS ’24, Lansdale, PA

This summer, I worked as a software engineer intern at is a nonprofit startup that provides an online ID platform where case managers can assist the homeless population in obtaining, storing, and utilizing government ID to apply for aid services. Through, I was able to improve my skills in Java backend coding and learn more about homelessness in America.

During my internship, I worked on two coding projects. My first one involved modifying frontend code to allow case workers to fill out ID applications on behalf of clients. This was a key feature that was requested by many nonprofits using the service, as the lack of access to technology and varying levels of technological literacy often made it difficult for clients to fill out ID applications and sustain secure ID. Being able to directly help nonprofits in their mission was a very satisfying and enlightening experience that really helped to remind me of my core purpose in software engineering: coding to supporting clients with new and useful tools and features.

My second project focused on transitioning the existing PDFs stored in the system into a file and form setup. This project involved many complex tasks, such as rewriting various service functions, extracting questions directly from PDF files, and converting individual PDF files into the new file/form setup. Through this transitioning process, I was able to provide a framework for uploading and submitting applications that could more easily support new features in the future, and I was additional able to learn many concepts related to backend systems and Java programming.

One of the highlights of my summer internship was the volunteering sessions we had at various homeless shelters in the Philadelphia area. At Face-to-Face, a homeless shelter in Germantown, I helped at the computer lab, providing direct technical support to people seeking assistance with applying for IDs/benefits and helping with other computer-related tasks. Interacting with the clients directly was invaluable to understanding the unique problems that come up because of homelessness, such as losing valuable identification documents, not having access to a phone or address, and not being able to apply for certain programs due to a lack of identification documents. Through direct conversations with clients, I was able to learn more about these struggles and other challenges that accompany people experiencing homelessness. These volunteer sessions helped me to truly understand the value of understanding the clients’ perspectives and changed my views on the challenges of being homeless.

My internship at was an extremely valuable experience that helped me grow both as a software engineer and as a person. I would like to thank my managers for setting up this wonderful internship and helping me navigate the codebase, my fellow interns for making the internship both fun and memorable, and Career Services for funding and supporting me through my coding journey this summer.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 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

By Career Services
Career Services