President’s Public Service Fellows talk about their summer

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The 2012 President's Public Service Fellows. (Photo by Karen King)

The President’s Public Service Fellows write mid-term reports about their summer experiences working in New Haven. Here are excerpts from a few of those reports.


Michael Magdzik, Berkeley 2013— City of New Haven, Office of Economic Development:

If the purpose of the President’s Public Service Fellowship is to acquaint students with the City of New Haven and the efforts to improve her, I can hardly imagine a better placement than the Office of Economic Development. The office is full of urban design, business, and city planning policy veterans with over two decades of experience working for New Haven, and often a lifetime living here. Their rich experience has colored and brought to life streets I had often seen on Google Maps and often traversed in real life. Though I was ignorant then about the streets’ history and their purpose, I am now coming to realize the exciting opportunities they carry for the communities that reside here.

I feel as though I have gleaned a peculiar insight into the future of the city, simply by talking so extensively about the planned or hoped-for developments that are taking place. As much as things have improved from the last decade, a real era of growth and prosperity is coming – and that’s very, very exciting. 

Thank you for the opportunity to work at such a great organization, with such a great group of fellows (especially the others at City Hall).  It’s been a really fantastic summer so far – I can’t wait to see it continue.

Naureen Rashid, Ezra Stiles 2014 — City of New Haven, Office of Economic Development

I have really been enjoying my experience at the Office of Economic Development in City Hall. One of my favorite aspects of the internship so far has been getting to meet such a diverse group of city officials. From City Planning to Town Green Special Services to the Chamber of Commerce to the mayor, I have gotten to meet and interact with a many great organizations and people doing important things for the City of New Haven. 


Marj Berman, Calhoun 2013 — City of New Haven, Department of Youth Services

Working at the City of New Haven’s Youth Services Department this summer has served a primer both in New Haven politics and the basics of public service. 

Gabriela Reed, Timothy Dwight, 2014 — JUNTA for Progressive Action, Inc.

One of the most pleasant surprises of my fellowship has been the community of employees with whom I am working. I have really enjoyed getting to know my coworkers, mostly Hispanic women, both through work tasks and on a more friendly level. During my first week of work, the entire staff marched in the Fair Haven Parade and then went out to lunch together; such an event is indicative of the atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration infused in all of Junta’s work. I also think it is this tone that allows Junta to feel like a very cohesive organization despite the many branches within its domain.

Shatavia Wynn, Divinity 2013 — Life Haven

When I discovered I would be working for a homeless shelter that serviced women and children I believed that my summer would be filled with enriching, teachable moments that would involve my interactions on both a shelter and administrative/managerial side. Life Haven has provided me with these opportunities, which have been extremely more introspective than expected.

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