Industry: Education
Type of Internship: Research: Social Sciences
Student Name: Genesis Garcia
Graduation Year: 2015
Major: American Studies
Minor: Education
Position Title: Principal Research
Hours: 10 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Paid, part-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?


My Summer Scholars project involved doing research at the Diploma Plus program (DP) at Charlestown High School. DP is a national program that provides students that have been failed by the traditional schooling system an alternative path to education. Along with doing a lot of background research on drop outs in Boston in general (history, theories, testimonies), I am looking to see how this drop out recovery program is contributing to the education reform movement. For my senior honors thesis/American Studies Capstone Project, I am planning to produce a documentary on the program. 


How did you find this internship?


Academic Resource Center's Anne Moore/Online/Career Center 


What do you enjoy most about your internship?


I love the fact that though I am working with a mentor, this research is very much my own. This has given me amazing flexibility and creative freedom to pursue it in any way that I would like. I am also grateful to have been given this opportunity as a rising junior, which gives me that much more time to perfect my research and eventually, my thesis, by senior year. 


What do you find challenging?


What I love about my research was also what was most challenging. Because I was the principal investigator, it meant that no one was telling me what to do, how to do it, or when to do it by. With the tempting summer weather and activities, it was so hard to motivate myself to read a book or fill out a research log. My mentor was of great help, but I needed to have the right questions to ask. 


What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?


First, give yourself ample time to work on the Summer Scholars application. It is essentially applying for a research grant, so it needs to be professional. Get a writing tutor! Ask previous scholars or older students to take a look at it too. Secondly, when accepted, make a calendar for the ten weeks of your research and make it as SPECIFIC as possible--get organized! The more specific it is, the less wiggle room there will be for you to get distracted by the summer. Thirdly, make sure you get a good mentor who fits your needs best. If you need someone to tell you what to do every step of the way or someone who gives you more space, make sure you get that from your mentor. Also, make sure you establish housing because Summer Scholars does not provide housing on campus. 


About the Organization

Diploma Plus Program at Charlestown High School
Medford, MA/Charlestown, MA


Diploma Plus Program at Charlestown High School Medford, MA/Charlestown, MA

Diploma Plus creates small high schools that incorporate a performance-based system, a supportive school culture, future focus, and effective supports in order to increase opportunities for students placed at-risk so that they can graduate college and career-ready.