Summer Community Service Fellowship
In 2008 the Harvard Club of Naples initiated a Community Service Fellowship/Internship Program, utilizing funds contributed by its members to support Harvard College students from Collier County in summer internship at local nonprofit organizations. During its first summer of operation, in 2008, the Club’s internship program supported two Harvard undergraduates. Kelly Cadenas, a microbiology major and Lely High School graduate, interned at the Naples Botanical Garden, working with the Curator in the Horticulture Department. Kelly is now a graduate student at UCLA. The other intern, Bradford Bailey, a government major and Naples High School graduate, worked at the Community Foundation of Collier County, where he completed several database and survey projects.
In 2009 the Club again sponsored two interns. Beverley Barnes, a social sciences major and graduate of the Community School of Naples, worked with Hope for Haiti, assisting with grant writing, database updates, and a local fund raising project. Brad Bailey again interned at the Community Foundation of Collier County, working on a 211 hotline that homebound senior citizens could call for information about services from both profit and nonprofit organizations.
During the summer of 2010, the Club supported four students. Brad Bailey continued his involvement in the 211 hotline project of the Community Foundation of Collier County and also developed a need assessment survey to be used with 211 callers for identifying gaps in social services. Two pre-med students, Marla Perez, a Naples High School graduate and Brandon Perkovich, a Community School graduate both interned at Naples Community Hospital. Marla shadowed doctors in twelve departments, observed a variety of procedures, and made two presentations on research she conducted. Brandon, who plans to pursue a combined M.D./M.B.A. program, was personally mentored by Dr. Allen Weiss, the hospital CEO, whom he accompanied to various policy meetings and to meetings exploring the development of residency programs, and he prepared an extensive research paper for the NCH Board regarding the Jackson Laboratories and Florida’s biotech initiatives. Gabriella Paisan, a Baron Collier High School graduate and incoming freshman, interned at the Naples Botanical Gardens, assisting with the planting program.
For the summer of 2011, the Club supported two students at the Community Foundation. Haris Domond, an incoming freshman, worked on the 211 project, and Kate Caputo, a rising senior at Harvard, assisted with the women's project. Marla Perez, who between her sophomore and junior years interned at the Neighborhood Health Clinic, and Christine Mansour, an incoming freshman, worked at the Naples Education Foundation.
As this overview demonstrates, the Harvard Club of Naples’ Summer Community Service Fellowship/Internship Program is a win-win operation for all participants. The Collier County nonprofit organizations that work with the students, as well as the people these organizations serve, receive significant benefit at no cost to them from the students’ expertise, computer skills, and dedication The students, in turn, gain financial support, important work experience, as well as insight into the challenges confronting nonprofit organizations and their clients. The Club thus has the satisfaction of using its financial support of local Harvard undergraduates to help the students gain social service experience and thereby meaningfully enhance goal achievement within the Collier County nonprofit community.
~Jeanne Gullahorn, Ph.D. (Radcliffe, 1954), Internship Coordinator