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RealInternships: Adam Ellenthal

After 3 months here in Perú, a volunteer asked me what it was like to be here for so long and if I was already looking forward to going back to the United States. Of course I want to see my family and friends, and eat a good steak… but I am by no means in a rush to come back. I am already searching for jobs here for next year so that I can return to Trujillo for my gap year; hopefully, next time for about 11 months.

This is a photo of me teaching English at I.E. Taures Arraujo.

This is a photo of me teaching English at I.E. Taures Arraujo.

The work here has been difficult at times for several reasons but I think the most relevant adversity that I had to overcome was working between Peruvians and Americans, and trying to bridge the gap of cultural differences. There were times where my volunteers expected punctuality, distanced professionalism, and almost constant supervision as is standard in many American learning environments. Instead, they found a professional environment that was not defined by being on time, but by asking how the volunteer was recovering from their cold from the day before. Instead of a firm handshake, there was a kiss on the cheek and trust enough to allow the volunteers independence in the workplace. Even within the group of Americans, I was working with a group that included ages 18-30, native speakers to absolutely no Spanish experience, and people who ranged from outgoing sorority girls to guys who had perfect grades and had never danced before. In groups of 45 people, it seemed like it would be hard to get to know these people on an individual basis, but there are definitely several volunteers that shone and I made a real connection with.

As far as my interaction with the community and locals goes, the people I have met have been friendly and welcoming. This past weekend, I think every restaurant, bar, and surf shop I visited in my free time knew me and was happy to give my friends and I half price or special dishes; I finally feel as though I am no longer a tourist. The work in the community has been on hold for a week as we change out our volunteer groups to our final and smallest group for the summer. However, we will be starting again this afternoon and I am so excited to go. Just to have these kids remember my name brightens my whole trip. Today, I will be introducing them to our new volunteers and they will begin their work for the month.

This country has left its mark on me in a number of ways even if that includes running to cross streets, expecting prices to be half of what I will encounter in the United States, or wanting to nap in the middle of the day. The people here are always going to be with me as I carry memories of them with me everywhere. As I close these blog posts, I would like to thank Vive Peru, and its director Rachel Jurkowski Ganoza for all of her support and faith in me. The program has a Facebook that I encourage everybody to check out to stay informed, to donate, or to apply to attend our program next summer. Please tell your friends and family members because this program runs on limited staff and funds and trips like mine are only possible through a strong community of supporters. I will also continue as a Campus Coordinator this year at Boston College so any inquiries about the program can be sent directly to my email at As well, thank you to Boston College and this grant for making this trip possible for me.



RealInternships: Adam Ellenthal

These past two and a half months have been busy; but rewarding. Everyday, I wake up tired and with lots on mind. However, this is a stress that feels good because it is stress about work I believe in and that makes me feel like I’m doing something that really benefits people. Instead of stressing out about an exam or a lab report, I am wake up thinking about things like meeting with hospital directors to move our volunteers into more interesting departments, or whether or not I’m forgetting educational material for one of our community outreach projects.

adam2Three days a week I have been helping my volunteers run free informational sessions about health and hygiene in the local neighborhoods. To me, this is where volunteers begin to fully understand the situation that the people live in every day. For example, I ask the volunteers what is important to teach the mothers’ group about food safety. When the answer refrigeration comes up, I have to tell them that refrigeration is not a possibility; their faces turn from surprised to confused when I tell them that a more important fact to teach the families is not to store raw meat in areas like bathrooms or with live animals. At times, I feel like from outside looking in, these lessons seem insignificant as volunteers ask questions like why do we teach them how to wash their hands when they barely have access to water? Questions like, why does meat safety matter when they already drink dirty water? However, I have seen the kids of El Progreso from last August to this year and I can see the difference that we have made through a year of teaching. Instead of twenty children covered in dirt showing up without shoes, we have forty children with almost all of them wearing shoes and with clean hands. I know that we cannot change the reality that these kids face, but we can make it a little better and that is enough for me. Other things that I have done include setting up an agreement between my program and a hospital to provide them with informational materials for their nutrition office, helping to teach highly-discounted English classes to adults and children, organizing a clothing donation to two children’s homes, and delivering donations to several hospitals. Besides this, I have been working everyday with my volunteers to make sure that their experience here is the best that it can be. Tomorrow, I will be one of three coordinators running a free health campaign in the mountains where we expect to see one to two hundred patients with medical attention and medication free of charge.


RealInternships: Andrea Roman-Gonzalez

As I pulled up to what appeared to be a mansion, I anxiously waited to begin my journey with CASA de Maryland. This nonprofit organization is located in the heart of Hyattsville, MD, most commonly known as Langley Park. A city known for its immense diversity and melting pot of ethnic restaurants, working in Langley Park has been truly eye opening. Every morning I pass numerous of young to old men patiently hoping by a gas station, Home Depot, or Taco Bell to be asked to work for the day. Already, my CASA de Maryland experience begins.

andreaThe mission of CASA de Maryland is not only to assist immigrants in the area through community and legal services, but to educate. Thus, several “Know Your Rights” presentations are held. One of the main issues immigrants face in the United States is not knowing their own rights. The fear of deportation is unimaginable and CASA tries to address this nightmare through education. To name a few, classes offered include English, worker rights, health clinics, and citizenship test preparation.

andrea1With Immigration Reform being a central current issue in the US, immigrant voices must be heard. CASA has an amazing organizing team that plans marches, door knocks, and press statements and so forth. Just this morning, a school bus full of children and church organizers from Chicago arrived to hold a march in downtown DC. It is astounding and heart-wrenching to hear stories from children whose parents have been deported. These children, ranging from middle school to high school graduates, have committed their time and passion to being the voice of the voiceless.

Everyone who works at CASA de Maryland is immensely inspirational. I have the most amazing boss, an employment lawyer, who has the biggest heart and commitment. The experience has shown me an interesting twist to a law degree and I am extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity. I look forward to the next weeks at CASA, as I have already found a new family.


RealInternships: Daniela Diaz

This summer, I’m interning with the NC Green Schools Project, located in Asheville, North Carolina. The program is a non-profit initiative focused on building a sustainable public education system using four components, school culture and community relations, sustainability of school sites, health education in curriculum, and the integration of environmental education into routine curriculum.


I’m interested in pursuing a career either with non-profit work or in education, so this immersion should provide a lot of perspective about what these fields can be like and the future of working in them. When my internship begins in late June, I’ll be working with the program’s director and with public school teachers to match NC state curriculum standards to lesson plans that teach lessons about environmental stewardship. There are a lot of environmental and cultural education resources in the Western North Carolina area that can provide out-of-classroom experience for students, and so there should be plenty of opportunity to encourage engagement between classrooms and the community during the next year. I’m hoping to help set up an opportunity for either public school students who are in summer school or home-schooled students to be able to participate in some events meant to promote the organization over the summer.  The program is beginning a pilot year this coming fall, and so I’m going to be busy double checking new programs to make sure that they meet state standards as well as learning about the non-profit’s day-to-day management.Image


Career Conversation with Maura Nugent Martinelli

If you missed our Career Conversation with Corporate Lawyer Maura Nugent Martinelli this spring you can read about the discussion below:

maura pic

In an informal setting, a group of BC students received the benefit of the experiences and tips of corporate lawyer Maura Nugent Martinelli, BC ’03.  Maura is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and currently works as a third-year associate at the Boston firm of Goodwin Proctor. She explained corporate law as time spent drafting agreements and contracts as well as representing corporations, which is more collaborative and less adversarial.

Many students posed questions about work-life balance, and Maura acknowledged the pressure to work late hours and almost an “investment banking” environment where there are big sacrifices but big rewards.  She told us those who do well in large firms are very ambitious and willing to put in those long hours.  It is common for lawyers to spend a few years in “big law” and then transition to in-house counsel at a business, where work hours are closer to the standard 9 to 5.

Maura left students thinking about law school and a legal career with a few questions to consider:

  • Are you willing and able to take on the financial commitment?  

Many law students graduate with huge debt, which leads to pressure to take the high paying jobs that might not be the most personally rewarding.

  • Are you going to like it? Do you really want it?  

She mentioned that those can be tricky things to determine until you’re really in the profession, but her advice is to spend as much time as you can in legal internships (even if unpaid) in order to gauge your interest.


– Amanda Brannigan, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

Greening BC: Celebrating Earth Day Every Day

— by Ethan Jacobs, ’13

Over the past few decades, Boston College has been able to pride itself on its rapid growth and development as an institution of higher education.  This growth is encompassed in a variety of measured elements of campus life, which include an ever-rising undergraduate and graduate student body population, an increasing relationship with a number of communities in the greater Boston area, and a greater presence on the national and global stage with respect to the awe-inspiring work being done by BC graduates around the world.  In embracing this rapid growth, BC must also take on the responsibility of catering to an growing number of individuals, a task, which often entails the construction and utilization of new buildings and facilities, as well as an array of other resources.  In this vein, and in honor of Earth Day, the Boston College Career Center has decided to take a quick look at some of the measures being taken by various campus organizations to embrace the growth being experienced at BC in a manner that is sustainable, responsible, and ethical.

BC Bookstore

The Boston College Bookstore is undertaking a number of exciting initiatives in the coming year as a means of becoming more sustainable and ethically governed.

  • Next year’s superfan shirts will be made from 100% recycled bottles, but take on a much more loose and breathable texture, making for a more comfortable shirt.
  • Boston College has also become a part of the Better World Books Program, which collects and sells books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide.
  • Finally, the bookstore has set a goal to go digital with all text books and course packs within the next few years as a means of cutting down on paper waste and tree felling.bookstore

BC Reslife

            The Office of Residential Life at Boston College has made use of a mixed bag of initiatives to achieve various sustainability goals throughout various residential halls.

  • The Department recycles furniture into halls that are in need of newer pieces, and donates furniture that is no longer needed to Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts (HGRM), an organization that provides household goods to people in need, free of charge.
  •  “BC Clean,” an end of year donation drive encourages residents to donate unwanted items to local charities at the end of the year rather than throwing them in the trash, and all first year hall councils elect an eco-rep that is charged with promoting student awareness and advocacy programs for green actions among students.
  • All laundry machines in dorm facilities and refrigerators on lower campus are energy star certified, meaning that they use substantially less water and energy than most industry leaders in washing and refrigerating, respectively.res life

BC Dining Services

With opportunities to engage in sustainable and ethical practices at nearly every turn, Boston College’s Dining Services program has adopted a number of different approaches to serve as a more responsible organization on campus.

  • To decrease volume and the number of required vendor pick-ups, metal cans are crushed in-house.  Further, only zero trans-fat cooking oils are utilized as a means of provided the healthiest alternative to students possible, and all of these oils are filtered at least once a day to allow for longer usage.
  • In replacing dishwashers twice over the past year, dining services has cut down on water usage by 50%.  To further these conservation efforts, dishwashers are only run during peak dining hours, which enables the conservation of utilities and cleaning products.
  • All vendor food orders are consolidated to limit the carbon footprint of suppliers, and all BC Food Vendors are required to comply with a list of BC-created sustainability criteria.
  • Finally, all leftover food, including food waste from campus diners is composted in the back of dining services facilities.dining

Strides are certainly being made within the BC community to govern all campus-activity in an environmentally responsible and socially ethical manner.  The above-listed bullet points from the Office of Residential Life, BC Dining Services, and the BC Bookstore represent merely a few of the initiatives being undertaken to make BC a progressively greener campus.  It will be critical in the coming years that this progress is maintained and that all parties involved continue to take into consideration the long-term benefits that these environmentally conscious actions can yield, rather than looking to quick-fix short-term solutions, which may prove costly in the long run.  However, if BC’s current engagement is any indicator, the future looks bright for this campus’ sustainability endeavors.

–Ethan Jacobs is a senior at Boston College majoring in Philosophy and Economics.


[INFOGRAPHIC] 10 Earth Friendly Companies

Still celebrating Earth Day? Check out this awesome infographic by CareerBliss:

Earth Day v6