Paulina Martin '21
Summer Plans: Intern, United Way/Worcester Together
Hometown: Mansfield, MA
I am interning with the United Way of Central Massachusetts. Primarily, I work with “Worcester Together,” a partnership of organizations collaborating to help the city through the effects of COVID-19. My job is to support these efforts by finding and connecting local volunteers to the groups that need them. I have also worked directly with relief efforts, helping run the food delivery program that drops off groceries to families in need.
The work of the Worcester Together team has had a profound impact on the most vulnerable in the city, distributing resources such as food, shelter and personal protective equipment. I am seeing firsthand the dedication so many non-profit leaders have for their community and the rewards and challenges of doing such emotionally intensive work. I am also learning much more about city politics.
Holy Cross places an emphasis on community engagement. Coming into this internship, I already had a great handle on the major non-profit players in Worcester because of my involvement with Community-Based Learning and Student Programs for Urban Development. A lot of the work I do is with undocumented families, and because of my previous class with Professor Susan Rodgers on refugees, I feel well equipped to grapple with their complex needs. Two people in the United Way office are Holy Cross grads, and I was introduced to Tim Garvin, the head of the organization, by another alum. Truly, I had lots of great connections to get the position in the first place.
I spent last semester in Washington, D.C. interning with Senator Elizabeth Warren and came out of the experience sure that I wanted to work in politics. While I still think that’s the case, my involvement with the United Way has given me a new appreciation for politics and government at a local level. I think I would love, and perhaps even be more fulfilled by, city or municipal work. I am so grateful to have this additional perspective and to have discovered this passion for serving smaller communities.
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