Colgate students, interning this summer at companies such as NBCUniversal, Hukkster, Nike, and Facebook, are sharing their experiences. This post is written by Madison Grant ’16, an intern at the Arab American Association of New York.
My name is Madison Grant and I am a rising sophomore at Colgate University. This summer I am working at the Arab American Association of New York in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The association offers an array of free resources for Arab-Americans and other people living in the area. We help with issues including immigration, health care, English lessons, GED tutoring, and citizenship courses.
As a casework intern, I assist people from different countries around the Middle East and the world by helping with citizenship applications, applying for asylum, locating jobs, and filing for food stamps— among other things. Most people who come to the association looking for assistance speak little or no English, so we speak Arabic to communicate. Because there are people from all over the Middle East who come in for help, I gain exposure to many different dialects.
A day’s work here at the association is incredibly fulfilling. I see the immediate impact I make in people’s lives when they successfully pass their citizenship course, start receiving food stamps, or gain employment.
I especially admire that the association serves anyone who comes in for assistance — even if they are not Arabic or don’t speak the language. For example, I helped translate from Spanish to Arabic so the association’s pro bono lawyer could communicate with a Spanish-speaking family to resolve a legal issue.
The vibrant Arab community of Bay Ridge is incredibly welcoming. I am constantly surprised and touched by the heartwarming displays of kindness the people of the community show me, like bringing me fruit and desserts, introducing me to their relatives, and showing a genuine interest in my life, even as they find themselves in difficult situations that we may not be able to solve. Every day here is rewarding – I wake up motivated to come to work, and I leave eagerly anticipating the next day.
— Madison Grant ’16
With the help of the university’s remarkable alumni network, Colgate’s Center for Career Services helps hundreds of undergraduates find invaluable internships each summer. For more information on the center and its efforts on behalf of Colgate students, visit colgate.edu/careerservices.