Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.
This summer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Chenango United Way (CUW) through a fellowship with Colgate’s Upstate Institute Summer Field School. The CUW funds programs that address issues regarding health, income, and education. I’ve learned the ins-and-outs of the CUW, from marketing and finance to how the organization seeks to make a local impact.
Because of its focus on health, the CUW is a leading community organization in the Greater Chenango Cares: Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission. This collaborative health care project among Chenango County organizations was a project led by the Department of Defense as preparation for wartime and disaster missions. For each IRT mission, the military serves high-need areas across the country, while partnering with leading community organizations.
This summer, the IRT mission chosen for Chenango County was a clinic at Norwich High School from July 13–22. The clinic included free medical, dental, optical, and veterinary services. Altogether, we served approximately 2,500 residents with the help of more than 500 volunteers.
As the CUW intern for this project, I sat on the IRT planning committee, which was responsible for the logistics and operations sections of the mission, as well as budgeting and volunteer recruitment.
As an aspiring doctor, this experience has shown me the importance of compassion, and allowed me to embrace the privilege of serving.