CGS Students Give Back through Health Care and Nonprofit Internships

in January Boston-London Program, News and Events, Students
October 4th, 2017

This summer, Boston University College of General Studies students spent their time volunteering and interning for great causes all across the world—from ambulances and oncology wards in New York to dental clinics in Peru and immigrant communities in Massachusetts.

Danika Connors at the fire department in Hornell, New York. Photo courtesy of Danika Connors.

Danika Connors at the fire department in Hornell, New York. Photo courtesy of Danika Connors.

Danika Connors (CGS’17, SAR’19) did her internship through the Santander Sophomore Internship program, a program that gives BU students a living allowance stipend to support their participation in unpaid internships. Connors interned at the Hornell Fire Department as an EMT, where she got hands-on experience with patients and was able to see up close the fast-paced life of EMT-Bs, paramedics, and fire fighters. She says, “This internship has given me the opportunity to explore different career options in the medical field and learn about what it takes to be in a field of work that is dedicated to helping other people.”

Claire Murphy (CGS’17, COM’19) helped the families of ill children as a public relations intern at Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region in Albany, New York. Murphy received a stipend through the Yawkey Nonprofit Internship Program, a BU funded internship program for nonprofit internships. She says, “I learned about orchestrating fundraisers for a non-profit organization, rebranding for a global charity, and how to help people going through an awful time in their lives.” The most memorable experience of her internship – when NFL Hall of Fame players visited the house, met the children and families, and supported the fundraiser. Murphy says, “I met some amazing people going through terminal illness or disease, which gave me a greater appreciation for my own life and health.”


Mitchell McLeod on the job. Photo courtesy of Mitchell McLeod.

Also thanks to the Santander internship program, Mitchell McLeod (CGS’17, COM’19) did a summer stint as a reporting intern at Arlington Public News, where he reported on events all across Arlington, Mass. The highlight—shadowing firefighters at a training exercise, where he did a full search-and-rescue drill using forcible entry tools and thermal cameras. McLeod says: “I learned how to do all facets of a news package. I did research, conducted interviews, filmed footage, and edited all of the pieces together to create a cohesive story.”

Nidhi Bhagat in the dental clinic, ready for action. Photo courtesy of Nidhi Bhagat

Nidhi Bhagat in the dental clinic, ready for action. Photo courtesy of Nidhi Bhagat

Nidhi Bhagat (CGS’17, SAR’19) spent part of the summer as a dental volunteer in Peru with the humanitarian organization Volunteers Around the World. She visited a girls’ orphanage, danced to traditional Peruvian music, and threw a party for  elderly citizens to celebrate Peru’s Independence Day. During the second week of the trip, she shadowed dentists at a clinic the group set up in a Peruvian village. Bhagat, a student with the January Boston-London program, said, “I don’t think I would’ve had the guts to go on such a trip if I hadn’t gone to London for six weeks the year before. Both of these transformative experiences abroad have been, to say the least, amazing! I still can’t believe I can say, ‘I’ve studied in London, and volunteered in Peru.’”

Will Estrada (CGS’18) worked at the Intergenerational Literacy Program, where he taught immigrants English and took care of their children while the parents took ESL classes. He says he has a special attachment to this Chelsea, Mass. program because his mom goes to the program and he himself went when he was a young child. Estrada shared his experience at the Boston University Center for Career Development’s Summer Experience Showcase. Also participating in the Summer Experience Showcase—Bianca Viazzoli (CGS’17, SAR’19) who interned with the District of Columbia Schools in the health department, where she worked with immunizations, health forms, and data.

Roksolana Sikyrynska (CGS’17, SAR’19) was a volunteer at New York Presbyterian Hospital in the oncology ward, where she handed out clothes and supplies, transported patients’ blood from the blood bank to the nurses, and made things run quickly and smoothly for everybody. She made chemotherapy patients comfortable by chatting with them and making sure they have something to eat and drink and someone to talk to. Roksolana decided to volunteer so she can get a sense of what it’s like to work in a busy hospital. She was able to see the clinical and the non-clinical side of the hospital, ask doctors and nurses what their days are like, and get hands-on experience.

If you have your eye on a government, nonprofit, or unpaid internship next summer, apply for BU’s funded internship programs. The Priority Application Deadline for the Santander Sophomore Internship Program is November 14, 2017.

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