“We’re not a maintenance crew. We’re there to provide support but we’re also there to build community relationships,” she said. “I’ve been so intrinsically fulfilled. What I’m doing makes me feel good.”
The program has been beneficial to the partner organizations, too.
“The New Haven Promise internship program has enabled us to deepen our engagement with the New Haven community and to connect students with meaningful, locally-based environmental stewardship work,” said Matt Viens
, Greenskills Program Manager at URI. “We would not be able to accomplish all that we have this summer — from GIS-based analysis of New Haven’s street tree inventory to the development of outreach materials in multiple languages — without Cindy’s help and hard work. She has been an invaluable addition to the URI team, and the internship program as a whole is an incredible resource for us as a small organization.”
When asked whether she’ll return to New Haven after college, Cindy says she wants to travel and do work that is similar to what she’s doing now. But eventually, she wants to settle in the Elm City.
“I definitely want to give back,” she said. “New Haven has a lot of resources that I’ve been fortunate to take advantage of.”
, a graduate of New Haven Academy, is a rising junior who studies marketing at UCONN’s School of Business. But she chose to spend the summer working at F&ES where her time has been split between several of the School’s centers and programs. Her work has ranged from identifying potential speakers for “Bright Lights, Green Sights
,” a series that highlights diversity and inclusion at the intersections of business and the environment; assisting the Yale Center for Business and the Environment with their social media and marketing; and helping the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
(YPCCC) promote their July 28 premiere of the new Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Sequel
“People in these offices are really thoughtful in the sense that they want me to be doing things that I’m interested in and can learn from,” she said.
“Colasia has been a critical asset to our team during her short time with us in preparing for our local premiere of An Inconvenient Sequel
. She’s built the Eventbrite page, designed the poster, reached out to local organizations for promotion, and been a valuable participant in our planning and brainstorming,” said Jon Ozaksut
, YPCCC Digital Director. “She’s eager to learn and to do what needs getting done, and it’s been great working with her.”
Like Mark and Cindy, this is the first year Colasia has participated in the Promise internship program, but she almost ended up working at a different site. During January’s internship fair, coordinators — who knew she was studying marketing — placed her at business-oriented tables while science majors were placed with F&ES.
“They didn’t even know that F&ES needed someone with a business background. And I get it. When you hear ‘School of Forestry,’ you don’t think business,” she said. “But the outlook of being sustainable can be everywhere. I feel like F&ES could have connections with every school.”
A first-generation college student, Colasia says she has supportive parents, but didn’t want to burden them financially.
“A lot of students are unsure about going to college and how they’ll pay for it. Also students want to go out-of-state,” she said. “New Haven Promise was a real incentive to stay in-state.”
Mark agrees. “If a student is qualified for New Haven Promise, I tell them to apply,” he said. “The internship is just an supplement to help you get more money and more experience. And I feel that for me this gave me more opportunity to apply to Ph.D. and M.D. programs.”