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Field Notes

Staff Spotlights: Summer 2022 Interns at Root Cause!

June 16, 2022

Malenie (Mal) Reyes (she/her) | Intern

Where you’re from: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University and class year: Duke University, 2023

What you’re studying: Political Science and History

What was your path to Root Cause?

I joined Root Cause through a program at Duke called DukeEngage. I applied to DukeEngage in Boston because of its themes connected to helping children, young adults, and families through social impact. I chose to interview and intern with Root Cause because I believe the organization truly encompasses a similar vision. 

Why did you want a social change internship? What are your professional goals?

I wanted a social change internship because of my experiences growing up in a big city with very limited resources, especially in my experience as a student in the public school system from kindergarten through my senior year of high school. I also want to become a lawyer in the future and I believe that such a career would necessitate being aware of how one’s role can affect many social issues, whether that be directly or indirectly. 

Current Root Cause Projects:

SkillWorks

Collective Action Framework

Root Cause Mad Libs:

  • I am passionate about… social equity and healthcare 
  • Here’s what I’m currently reading, watching, or listening to… 
    • Reading: Death at an Early Age by Jonathan Kozol
    • Watching: The Simpsons
    • Listening to: Die Hard by Kendrick Lamar
  • In my spare time, I like to… visit museums and go on walks
  • In 10 years, this is the change I hope to see… free healthcare and progress toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions

 

 

Nidhi Dhupati (she/her) | Intern

Where you’re from: Charlotte, North Carolina

University and class year: Duke University, 2024

What you’re studying: Statistics

What was your path to Root Cause?

I was connected to Root Cause through DukeEngage, a program through Duke University that allows students to participate in an immersive summer of community engagement in a variety of locations locally and globally. The DukeEngage program in Boston places students with nonprofit organizations that are addressing issues important to children, families, and communities, which makes Root Cause a perfect match!

Why did you want a social change internship? What are your professional goals?

I wanted to learn more about the social change process this summer while exploring how to use my background as a statistics major to address societal issues using quantitative and qualitative insights. I am continuing to explore my professional goals while in college, but I hope to use my career to advance the conditions that promote human flourishing in whatever way that might be!

Current Root Cause Projects:

Phillips Academy

YMCA

Root Cause Mad Libs:

  • I am passionate about… social determinants of health, housing stability, educational equity
  • Here’s what I’m currently reading, watching, or listening to… reading Death at an Early Age by Jonathan Kozol and watching New Girl.
  • In my spare time, I like to… spend time outdoors (especially with my dog!) and try new baking recipes.
  • In 10 years, this is the change I hope to see… a greater understanding of the impact of social determinants, particularly housing insecurity and the unequal distribution of educational resources, on human health outcomes.
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