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A Tale of Two Internships

December 1, 2011

Summer internships can help strengthen a resume or even launch a career. But many internships are unpaid—a hardship for students who can't afford to work for free. Carleton helps level the playing field with special scholarships to cover their lost earnings.

Meet two students who took advantage of these scholarships to pursue amazing summer experiences.

Reed Jordon ’12: Building Stoves, Improving Lives

Reed Jordan '13

Some summer interns get to type, file, and fetch coffee. Reed Jordan ’12 got to change lives.

Jordan worked with the organization ProWorld in the impoverished communities surrounding Urubamba, Peru. ProWorld's oldest and most successful program is the Clean-Burning Stoves project, an initative to replace traditional Peruvian open-fire stoves with a healthier alternative.

This project isn't about upgrading a kitchen appliance, Jordan explains. It's about improving lives and health.

"These traditional stoves do not have chimneys," he says. "It's an open fire with no venting. Sometimes it's just an overturned bucket, or a couple of rocks. The ceilings in these homes are covered with black soot, and people are breathing this every day. They are at high risk for respiratory illnesses, blindness, and decreased lung capacity."

The stoves installed by ProWorld workers have a chimney to vent 99% of the smoke to the outdoors. They're also dramatically more fuel-efficient, saving families up to $70 per year (a significant sum in these impoverished areas).

"It was so great meeting the people whose lives we were improving," Jordan says. "Each project is headed by someone from the community, and every day we'd go out together to interview families and prepare stoves. We would also test their lung capacity, measuring it at one week, one month, and three months after the installation of the stove."

"What impressed me most about this project was seeing that regular people have real power to bring change and innovation," Jordan says. "It's not overseen by somebody in a big corporate office. These are people on the ground, right there in these communities. If you have  a good idea, you can make a real difference. It's a powerful feeling."

Jordan, a Political Science major, hopes to join the Peace Corps or work with Teach for America after his graduation from Carleton.

Reed Jordan's internship was funded by The Initiative for Service Internships in International Development, established in 2003 with a gift from Stephen R. West '53 and his wife Phyllis M. West.

Hannah Lucal ’12: Advocating for Women’s Health

A liberal arts education often brings together seemingly disconnected subjects in unexpected ways. Perhaps that explains how Hannah Lucal '12, a Studio Art major, received a language-study scholarship to work for an international reproductive-health initiative based in Belgium.

Lucal helps connect the dots for us: "My senior comps project in photography focused on public health and women's health," she says, "and I'd previously studied French on a Carleton program in Mali. That's where I first became exposed to the issue of female genital cutting. So this internship with The International Center for Reproductive Health seemed like an excellent next step for me to continue developing my interest in these issues."

Hannah LucalLucal joined an ICRH project devoted to the study and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, primarily in French-speaking African countries, and in Europe among immigrant communities from those countries. Her language skills were put to the test as she reviewed scholarly literature and policies written in French.

"I transcribed interviews and researched articles on topics such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and honor-related violence," Lucal says. "The ability to speak French gave me a unique opportunity to connect and learn from an incredible team dedicated to creating better reproductive health options around the world."

After Carleton, Lucal hopes to continue working and living abroad, learning more about international issues of public health.

"Through this internship in Belgium," Lucal says, "I saw that there is an amazing community of local experts collaborating across borders—groups all over the world, working on the same issues. It's not defined by national boundaries.

"My summer internship really put it all in perspective for me."

Hannah Lucal's internship was funded by the Richard T. Newman Family Fund for Language Study Internships.

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