The first clue that the summer internship would suit her precisely came during the telephone interview when she applied for the position. The proof came during the last two days of the job.
In the interview, Delta Reyes ’20 recalls, the director of the center where she hoped to work, explained that as an intern Reyes would explore her true interests, not do generic intern tasks. Hearing that, Reyes happily accepted the offer from the St. Joseph’s/Candler African-American Health Information and Resource Center in Savannah, Ga.
The final evidence that the internship was a custom fit came at the end of the experience, when Reyes led a successful, two-day program for at-risk girls, a program that she’d planned herself. It was the highlight of her summer. She addressed self-confidence and how bodies play into that, providing information that her audience might not otherwise access. Another of her jobs this summer was helping to build a healthcare information database.
Major: Africana studies
Minor: Education studies
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
High School: Mott Hall V
“My passion is making education accessible for everyone, which is something that the center definitely strives to do because they put on programs for the community that will increase their knowledge of health issues that are more common among the black community,” says Reyes, an Africana studies major and education studies minor. She plans to make a career in education policy.
She is one of 200 Hamilton students who are conducting summer research or completing an internship supported by the College. Her internship results from a relationship between Hamilton’s Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center and the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, known as SHECP. It’s a collaboration among 26 colleges and universities to integrate classroom study of poverty with internships and co-curricular activities.
“I hope that other Hamilton students take SHECP up and give it a try, because I do think that they have a range of internships that meet different majors, or even if you don’t know exactly what you are doing, they try really hard to place you where you’re going to have a good experience and not feel like you are just sitting there as another intern, you know?” Reyes says.
Doing an internship in a city that isn’t your own is an instructive challenge, says Reyes, who is from the Bronx, New York City. She’s navigated a new city with spotty mass transit and a new state in which healthcare and information issues were shifting. She’s had an intimate look at a new urban community.
“By being away from home and seeing how other states do things, you can broaden your views on what you are interested in and how things work elsewhere. It’s been really great,” Reyes says.