Practical Experience Plus Practical Advice
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Chaz Del Mar ’22, an intended philosophy major, spent the summer interning for David Calvert ’75 at the Youth Action YouthBuild chapter in East Harlem, New York. Youth Action YouthBuild is a nonprofit organization that serves to uplift 17–24-year-olds in East Harlem communities by helping them achieve their high school equivalency, find jobs in food and construction services, and go to college.
“It was rewarding to work with youth my age because I have a lot of the same goals as they do,” Del Mar says. He helped wherever they needed him — in the computer lab, planting trees, renovating the office, planning community events and more, including grant writing.
“Grinnell students bring technical skills with IT and social media that supplement a lot of what we do,” Calvert says. He’s hosted 12 students in the past four years, both as interns and externs. “They bring energy and a desire to find out what’s next. They’ve also been really good at connecting with our community. I’ve always worried that students won’t land well here, but that’s never the case. They’ve connected with the young people in the program and have thrived in the East Harlem environment.” Del Mar was no different than previous interns. “I felt like a part of the community because the work that YouthBuild does is all about serving the community,” he says.
Connecting with a Grinnell alum was also a valuable part of the experience. “I decided to focus on my philosophy intended path instead of double-majoring, because I want to take classes in a broader range of topics,” Del Mar says. “David helped me through that, because he was a double major at Grinnell, and David’s experiences helped inform my choices moving forward.”