Meet Arm In Arm’s 2018 summer interns

All of us at Arm In Arm appreciate the energy, creativity, and passion our summer 2018 college interns bring to their involvement with our community and our organization. Here, they share a bit about their academic interests, what brought them to Arm In Arm, and how they are making the most of their time as part of our team.

Maria Heredia-Meza

I am a rising senior at Princeton University, studying literature and religion in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese with hopes to go to graduate school someday. The Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) program connects students to non-profit organizations, and I was lucky enough to be put into contact with Arm In Arm through the program. I have worked with other non-profits that offer similar services to Arm In Arm in Southern California, but I wanted the opportunity to see these services in a different setting, especially considering it is so close to Princeton University, but Trenton itself always seems so distant from that bubble. I like the atmosphere, always so open and happy to lend a helping hand whenever clients come in, be it for housing assistance or for the food pantry. It is always hard to turn someone in need away, but I have witnessed staff members and volunteers delivering difficult words with eloquence and compassion, understanding yet firm. I hope to one day be able to handle such tense situations with as much ease as staff and volunteers do, and I think I will, with such great guidance and examples.

Suchir Govindarajan

I am a rising sophomore, studying Journalism and Russian at The College of New Jersey. I am also involved in TCNJ Student Government, Musical Theatre, Orientation Leaders, and iTunes A Cappella. I am working with Arm In Arm through an AmeriCorps/Bonner Summer Community Leaders program where students are matched with a nonprofit that works and serves the Trenton community. I was paired with Arm In Arm based on my interest in food and housing issues and my desire to work/interact with community members. My favorite part of my internship is getting to coordinate the Summer Lunch Program. It is a much needed service for the Trenton community that provides free meal options for children 18 years and under. I love interacting with the children and parents that come for the program and hearing their stories.

Phoebe Whiteside

I am a rising junior at Swarthmore College right outside of Philadelphia, where I am majoring in Sociology and Anthropology as well as Spanish.
When I saw this internship opportunity advertised at my school, I was excited at the prospect of a job relevant to my area of study and interest in social work where I could also contribute to an organization that helps my community (I grew up in Princeton). I really appreciate working in the Trenton and Princeton pantries in the morning, as well as with the kids’ summer lunch program, because those are the times I am able to witness and participate most directly in the positive and community-oriented atmosphere Arm In Arm creates. It’s great to see how relatively small acts can contribute to meaningful change in people’s lives and a more just future, which is something no amount of reading or research can capture.