Dear Yale Alums,
As many of you know, our Club has been supporting two summer internships. This month I would like to describe the oldest one of the two—the Community Service Fellowship–, which makes it possible for a Yale undergraduate to work in a variety of non-profit agencies–at charter schools, in special arts programs, or with the homeless.
Almost twenty years ago our first intern was a Chinese American from Los Angeles and a third generation Yale student who worked without supervision at a Salvation Army men’s homeless shelter, trying to figure out how to be useful. According to Jackie Buhn ’73, who has been in charge of the program since its beginning, “his may have been the most difficult assignment and he carried it off with amazing poise. He wound up mostly talking to the men; some of them commented that they had never actually spoken to a person of Asian descent. At one point, three of the guys took him on a tour of one of the most notorious drug corners in Philadelphia.” Now he is an executive at Home Depot in San Francisco and currently thinking of adopting a child with his partner.
For all of the Fellows, their time spent in our city influenced their lives and often changed their choice of a career. One of them converted from philosophy to architecture and is now building houses in the San Francisco area. Another, whose parents were doctors in Thailand and who was trying to decide between a career in medicine or as a concert pianist, is now a doctor. Several have become lawyers.
The program has enriched these young leaders’ experiences by what they have learned from Philadelphians as well as the lives of the people they worked with thanks to their curiosity and enthusiasm. In addition, Jackie Buhn, who opened her center city house to the summer fellows, is grateful to have gotten to know these exceptional undergraduates. She has stayed in touch with many and counts them as “wonderful Yale friends around the country and the world.”
We all want to see this program continue. However, we have just learned that the University has set the funding for this program at $3,200. Unfortunately, your dues alone cannot cover its entire cost. Please consider making a special donation to insure its future.
We all want to see this program continue. Unfortunately, your dues alone cannot cover its entire cost. Please consider making a special donation to insure its future.
Catherine Lafarge PhD ’66