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Summer of Service Connects Alumni with Students

Summer of Service

Alejandra Martinez (SFS'13), second from left, is a Georgetown Summer of Service participant serving as a Language Access and Advocacy Program intern in the District of Columbia's Office of Latino Affairs, which includes Cecilia Castillo Ayometzi (G'97, G'03), Language Access and Advocacy Program coordinator, fourth from left.

Undergraduates who have service-related internships – which include helping local immigrants – are getting mentored by and living with Georgetown alumni this summer through a relatively new university program.

Alejandra Martinez (SFS’13), for example, is working as a full-time intern at the District of Columbia’s Office on Latino Affairs through the Summer of Service Internship Program.

Societal Good

The rising junior is staying with Maria Elena Campisteguy (C’83) while working at the District of Columbia’s Mayor’s Office.

Martinez helps ensure that agencies across Washington, D.C., provide services in Spanish under the D.C.-mandated Language Access Act.

The alumna owns Met Group, which offers creative strategic services to organizations with a social purpose.

“[Campisteguy] has acted as a mentor, and often gives me tips on how to be a good person in society overall, willing to work for the good of the community,” said Martinez. “Between the awesome people I’ve met at the office and staying with Maria Elena, it’s been a really good all-around experience.”

Enhancing Experience

Martinez said living with a Georgetown alumna has improved her professional network.

“She has introduced me to a couple of people,” Martinez explained. “Her work with the nonprofit industry and our interests in the field of service are very similar.”

After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in public service in Washington.

Partnering Students, Alumni

An initiative of the university’s Center of Social Justice (CSJ), the Summer of Service program began last year in partnership with the Office of Advancement and D.C. Hoyas, a local alumni club. 

Students are placed in internships with nonprofit organizations and receive a stipend from funds raised by CSJ. They are then matched with alumni host families for the summer.

Last year, three students lived with alumni while working in education and immigration rights for eight weeks.

The program is designed for students to contribute to community organizations without worrying about the cost of summer housing.

“In some cases, CSJ has supported students to find and secure internships with community partners,” said program director Kristi Tate. “In others, we have supported students who already have positions lined up with CSJ summer programs or other nonprofits to find homestays with alumni.”

A Doctor’s Care

Cole Lautermilch (SFS’14) is teaching fourth-graders at Kenilworth Elementary School through a CSJ program called the Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning.

The institute partners with the D.C. Public Schools system to provide after-school instruction for their summer school students, whose families are charged $2 for six weeks.

“Our curriculum is in enrichment and designed to get them to start thinking about the future, college and careers,” Lautermilch said.

The rising sophomore spent his service internship living with Dr. Patrick Joyce (C’75) and his 15-year-old son, William, in Bethesda, Md. Joyce not only opened his home to the intern, but also mentored him.

Lautermilch worked 40 hours a week for six weeks to create the Kenilworth curriculum for his Pathways – Mapping Our Future course.

Future Plans

The two-year old Summer of Service program hopes to grow with the support of the Office of Advancement and local Washington alumni.

“We have a number of host families interested for summer 2012 and are working to secure funding and resources to place even more students in meaningful summer projects next year,” Tate said.

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