With its small staff, SCC is able to “lift above its weight” thanks to a dedicated, hard-working board; member-led initiatives; collaborative projects with partner organizations; and bright, energetic interns. This summer, our Organizing Department has had three interns working on various projects, and another intern is supporting the First Source Jobs Program.
Lydia Collins is a Tisch Summer Fellow at SCC and a graduate student in the Tufts Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy department. She works primarily with René Mardones and Karen Narefsky supporting their organizing efforts with the Affordable Housing Organizing Committee, Jobs for Somerville, Union United and the Casino Action Network. Originally from Evanston, Illinois, Lydia shares, “I have been spending my time helping to organize meetings, create information sheets, do outreach, make phone calls, paint banners, and attend meetings around the City. In this role there is never a dull day at the office.”
Allison Curtis, a graduate student from Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy Planning, has been working with SCC Deputy Director Meridith Levy and board member and Tufts lecturer Laurie Goldman to compile data for the SCC First Source Jobs Program. Her work is assessing job sectors and career pathways that would be viable to our participants. According to Meridith, Allison’s thoughtful and organized approach to this project will leave SCC with an important and valuable tool as we further shape the First Source Jobs cohort program.
Linus Glenhaber is another SCC summer intern. He explains, “Last summer I volunteered for the reelection of state senator Pat Jehlen, and this summer I wanted to help my community in a more direct way. My father (Ezra Haber-Glenn) is on the board of SCC and suggested it for a summer job, which I thought would be a fantastic opportunity.”
He works two days a week and has been compiling a list of landlords in Somerville who own more than 10 properties or own large apartment buildings. After identifying these owners, he is looking for any news articles about them or if there were any comments from tenants about poor practices. According to Linus, the work that he is doing at SCC is not only interesting, but it lets him learn more about the City. “Even on the short 20-minute walk from my house to SCC,” he says, “I have found myself observing more about the houses, including realizing I know the owner of three of them. My time at SCC has been very rewarding, and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to intern here!”
Also interning at SCC this summer is Naisha Sterling, who had been looking for a place to do her community service hours for school and learn more about the Somerville community. Like Linus, she learned about SCC from her mother Natacha Theodore, a member of the SCC board and a graduate of the SCC Leadership Development Institute.
“She told me I should get involved over the summer,” states Naisha. “At first I was nervous, because I didn’t know much about SCC. Now that I’m a part of it, I realize that there is much more going on in Somerville than I thought, including development, community events and lots of meetings.” She especially enjoys connecting with fellow interns and staff members.
As part of her internship, Naisha has been compiling news stories about SCC, so the organization can keep track of its history. She is also making materials for outreach so SCC can recruit new members at community events. “Hopefully, I can continue next summer,” she says.
photo: Naisha Sterling at the 2016 Summer Member Picnic