Story posted February 05, 2013
Bowdoin’s summer fellowship programs are perhaps the best-kept secrets of the College. Not only does Bowdoin give out more funding for summer internships than any school I’ve heard of, but also a good portion of the money is reserved for students wishing to do work related to environmental responsibility.
Last Summer I participated in the Community Matters in Maine Fellowship which grants students $4,000 to take up unpaid internships with non-profit organizations to explore work in the public sector while developing an understanding of issues at the local level. My organization was The Environmental Health Strategy Center, which works to promote human health and sustainable economics by advocating for the elimination of toxic chemicals from everyday products.
My time with the Environmental Health Strategy Center not only enriched my knowledge on their area of focus, chemical policy reform, but also gave me new skills and an understanding of the interests of Mainers. As an Outreach Intern, I spent my time organizing and tabling at events to inform Mainers on our issue. I also researched the connection between the needs of communities of color and low socio-economic status and chemicals reform. I now can confidently organize events of a variety of scale, engage people of many backgrounds with an environmental / public health message, and conduct an independent research project.
Perhaps the best part of my experience was staying in Maine for the summer. Living in on-campus housing allowed me to “play grown-up” and ease into the new experience of living on my own while working 40 hour weeks. I was able to use the free time I lacked during the school year to dedicate one day a week to exploring a place in Maine I haven’t been to yet and spend time with the new friends I made living in summer housing.
I cannot recommend the summer fellowship program highly enough. Summer fellowships, whether in Brunswick or Bhutan, provide students with the ability to gain practical experience while pursuing the common good and environmental responsibility. You can have a ton of fun while learning, too.
Applications for the Community Matters in Maine - Psi Upsilon and Logan Environmental Fellowships and the Psi Upsilon Sustainability/Environmental Justice Fellowships are due Friday, February 15th by noon. For more information visit their website.
"I cannot recommend the summer fellowship program highly enough. Summer fellowships, whether in Brunswick or Bhutan, provide students with the ability to gain practical experience while pursuing the common good and environmental responsibility."