Dr. Marty Eichelberger '67 (back left) and PICS students pre-pandemic.
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Dear students, community partners, alumni, and friends of Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS),
We know that 2020 has been a year of challenge, chaos, and churn for so many. At PICS, we were so disappointed this year that the pandemic meant we were able to offer students and community partners fewer internships than in a non-pandemic year. Yet, even as we hold space for all that was lost this year, we have also found so many reasons to be grateful, hopeful, and more committed than ever to our goal of providing Princeton undergraduates with paid summer internships in community service and civic engagement.
We offer this annual report to share our excitement about all that our alumni, students, and community partners made possible this year, and to invite you to be a part of the difference PICS internships make.
With Tiger cheers,
Transitioning to the University
2020 was already slated to be a big year for PICS, as our 25th year of success since being founded in 1996 by the Great Class of '69. Following on this incredible legacy of service, PICS transitioned from a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to an official program of Princeton University, with a home in the John H. Pace, Jr. '39 Center for Civic Engagement. We are so excited about this transition and the opportunities for better connectivity and access to resources this means for students, community partners, and alumni.
With this transition, we welcomed a new PICS Program Director, Caroline Savage, and a new PICS Program Coordinator, Rose Holton. Prior to PICS, Caroline served in Princeton’s Office of Sustainability, and Rose supported the Pace Center as Administrative Assistant. Rose and Caroline have been thrilled to support this incredible program and the many students, community partners, and alumni who make up the PICS family.
PICS and the Pandemic
In a normal year, March is a very exciting month at PICS as we finalize internship placements and prepare to send students out into the field. But this March marked some of the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. With 180 internships set to begin in just a few months, and so much uncertainty about what was safe, how could we honor our commitments to students and community partners?
With careful planning and enormous support from Princeton alumni and University partners, we were able to support 96 PICS internships virtually. Thanks to our new partnership with the University, we were able to offer alternate opportunities to impacted students and to community partners. Students with cancelled internships had the opportunity to participate in “mini-internships” via the Pace Center’s COVID-19 response grants and RISE (Recognizing Inequalities and Standing for Equality) grants, professional development training and events, and mentorship opportunities. Additionally, our community partners were offered the opportunity to host students virtually through these two Pace Center grants in support of their emergent pandemic and anti-racism needs. Our students and community partners met the challenges of this summer with grace and resilience, finding new meaning in service as community needs rapidly evolved. While 2020 wasn’t the summer any of us expected, we’re proud of how our commitment to service led to meaningful change and deepened partnerships.
By the Numbers
The PICS program is such a tremendous example of this University’s commitment to be ‘in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.’ ...I am proud of the way that you all responded and that this program responded…Not only did you make a difference this summer, not only did you represent the University well, but you did so in ways that will lay a foundation for learning and service in the years to come. I’m grateful to you for that.
-Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber '83
PICS Fall Reception 2020 Remarks
Events and Accomplishments
We made the most of a virtual summer by bringing together students, community partners, and alumni who in a normal year would have been spread across the country. Over the summer, we hosted the following virtual coffee chat events for students to connect with Princeton alumni and build their professional network and skills:
- Networking 101, hosted by Shirley Wu '15
- Alumni in Legal Fields, featuring Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak '75, Steve Houck '69, John Gordon '69, and Deirdre Von Dornum *94
- Medical & Healthcare Professions Career Chat, featuring Dr. Marty Eichelberger '67, Dr. Ralph Binder '70, Dr. Jordan Winter '97, and Dr. Evan Fieldston '98
- Congressional Representatives Career Chat, featuring Congressman Ken Buck ‘81, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi '95
In October, we hosted the first of its kind PICS: Tiger Tales of Social Justice Impact event to share our approach to social justice. We believe in creating deep relationships that place our community partners at the center of the narratives of change, as well as in PICS serving as a professional development pathway for students who have traditionally been underserved by internships. To hear more, watch a recording of the event..
The Class of 1969 members of the Princeton Club of Vero Beach partnered with us this year to support an internship at the Indian River Land Trust, a local environmental organization dedicated to conservation. Thank you, Class of 1969 and Princeton Club of Vero Beach, for supporting young Tigers and your local community!
With our inclusion under its banner, the University sent a strong signal that service is integral to a Princeton student's education. We’re excited that gifts to PICS will now support so many Princeton undergraduates in internships that provide them with real-world learning and a professional experience to respond directly to community needs. We rely on generous Princeton alumni and friends so that all Princeton students have an equal opportunity to benefit from the program, regardless of financial aid status or family circumstances. Your gifts to PICS are so appreciated, and they are essential to ensuring that we can continue to offer these transformative experiences to students and community partners alike.
Whether you’re a student, community partner, or Princeton alumnus, we’d be delighted to have you partner with PICS to celebrate and share what our community of service can make possible.
Students can apply to PICS internships each fall.
Community Partners can apply to host a Princeton student each summer.
Alumni have a variety of opportunities for getting involved throughout the year. As a Princeton alumnus, you can:
- Support an internship by funding a paid summer civic service experience for Princeton undergraduates
- Serve as an alumni partner by mentoring a student during their summer internship
- Suggest an internship by connecting us to nonprofit organizations interested in hosting an intern
- Serve as a regional volunteer by helping to connect interns with resources and events
-Josiah Gouker '22, National LGBTQ Task Force
Supported by Princeton Bisexual, Transgender, Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association (BTGALA) and Diane K. Weeks '75 Memorial Fund
“As a result of my PICS internship and service experience, I am more motivated than ever to advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves.”
-Pauline Schnelzer '21, My Friend’s Place
View Pauline's final internship project
Supported by Paul '70 and Heather Haaga
“My internship met these goals [of incorporating both systemic social change and an educationally enriching experience for the student] very well. In terms of systemic change, I saw how dedicated my organization was to helping disinvested neighborhoods in the Memphis area, especially when conditions are currently so bad. I saw how dedicated my coworkers were to their local community and its well being as it became clear to me that they to try help others as much as they can despite limited resources. In terms of the educationally enriching experience, I learned a lot about community development and its inner workings.”
-Ricardo Salas Murillo '22, Community LIFT
View Ricardo's final internship project
Supported by Princeton University Class of 1977
-Linh Nguyen '21, Legacies of War
View Linh's final internship project
Supported by Princeton University Class of 1977
“My alumni partner relationship was amazing. I was able to connect with my partner on a weekly basis and we had many fruitful conversations concerning work, our lives, and the turbulent times we're living in. I believe this connection was integral to my PICS internship experience…[she] also gave me advice with adjusting to a law environment as she was a lawyer with decades of experience. I can't imagine my internship without her reliable calls every week.”
-Kenneth Gonzalez Santibanez '22, Legal Services of New Jersey
View Kenneth's final internship project
Supported by Princeton University Class of 1977
“I have always been interested in remedying the educational discrepancies within American society, as a low-income, first-generation student. Through my work with PSJP, I realized that I want to do something morally good with my Princeton degree, even if that something is not yet defined for me.”
-Ngan Chiem '23, Princeton Summer Journalism Program
View Ngan's final internship project
Supported by Princeton University Cl
"As a result of my PICS internship and service experience, I am more confident about where I see myself professionally in the future... I have a clearer idea of what I would like to do for my senior thesis.”
-Kaja Darien '21, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
View Kaja's final internship project
Supported by the Princeton Club of Philadelphia and
the Princeton University Center for Health & Wellbeing
“I felt that I accomplished the goals I'd established for myself at the beginning of the summer. As my internship progressed, I gained a new appreciation for how non-profits in public health fields face advocacy challenges, especially when their work intersects with the agendas of major corporate interests, like the tobacco industry.”
-Martha Clark '22, CATCH Global Foundation
Watch Martha present her final project
Supported by Princeton University Center for Health & Wellbeing
"I want to work in the nonprofit sector dealing with education in the future, so this internship was the perfect fit. I got to see first hand how CSFP's work positively impacted the families of Philadelphia by providing them access to a quality education, and this work and the interactions with these families was very enriching for me."
-Eric Tran '22, Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia
Watch Eric present his final project
Supported by Chuck Freyer '69
"One girl I interviewed discussed her anxiety from athletics and I could relate immensely to those feelings. These conversations made me realize that I want to pursue a career where I can work with, connect with, and help others because those are the moments I enjoy the most. I now know that I do not merely want to crunch data or perform analysis, I am a people person who values connection with others and I want to incorporate that into my career. “
-Alisha Somani '23, LIFT
Supported by the Princeton Class of 1967 and the Princeton Class of 1972
We are so grateful to generous supporters who made the 2020 PICS program possible. Thank you for your inspirational support of young Tigers and community partners!
It has been a great privilege for the Class of 1975 to support PICS, and to help identify and fund its meaningful summer internships in civic service. Numerous classmates have enriched their own lives while mentoring interns and contributing to these opportunities for talented Princeton students to give back to their communities. In recent years our interns have served at organizations such as the Special Olympics International Committee, the NYC Public Library, and the US District Court for the Eastern District of NY.
- Maureen Kelly Scott, Co-President Class of '75
"I always enjoy connecting with smart students who are motivated to do positive things in the world. "
-Marc Brahaney '77
We are additionally so grateful for the support of the following Princeton Clubs, Classes, and programs:
Alumni and Friends of Princeton ROTC | FFR/Princeton BTGALA | Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo PC | Princeton Classes of '63, '66, '67, '69, '72, '75, '77, and '92 | Princeton Area Alumni Association | Princeton Club of Philadelphia | Princeton School of Public and International Affairs - History & the Practice of Diplomacy | Princeton University Center for Health & Wellbeing Global Health Policy Program | Princeton University Service Focus Program | Bob Rodgers Class of 1956 Memorial Fund | Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service | The Duncan Whelen Van Dusen '58 Fund | The Diane K. Weeks '75 Fund
The alumni partner experience makes PICS a unique and indelible experience. Thank you so much to our alumni partners, who worked so hard to support our students this summer virtually!
"[My 2020 PICS student mentee] Rachel & I have not met, but the first time we talked on the phone, we talked for an hour--we had so much to talk about even though we're generations apart. It was a delight for me to have such a strong connection, and a reminder why this program is so great."
-Kendall Turner '07
"The best part of being an alumni partner is reconnecting with Princeton University life from the perspective of a current student and forming mentoring relationships that last beyond the summer."
-Mary Strother Sullivan '90
Thank you to our incredible 2020 community partners, who overcame so many obstacles to make PICS internships possible this year!
"Despite being remote and in a different time zone, Natalia contributed in significant ways to Arm In Arm's distribution of food to community members experiencing food insecurity. Natalia displayed initiative, creative thinking, and professionalism in her work product, but most importantly she displayed compassion to our clients in crisis during the pandemic."
-Margaret Cowell, Arm in Arm
Natalia's Arm in Arm internship was supported by the Bob Rodgers '56 Memorial Fund
The work environment with the Stockton Scholars Team was amazing! I always felt included in our team huddles. My favorite part about this team was how diverse and young everyone was which helped foster an inclusive environment in my opinion.
-Truth Betts-McCullum '23
Truth's internship at Stockton Scholars was supported by Bob Axelrod '69 and Christie Wise S69
"I was most impressed with Vic's ability to connect theory and practice. They not only dug into disability justice as a concept, they translated that to the daily practice of our work with participants and audiences. Often someone is skilled at one or the other; I appreciated Vic's commitment to navigating both. Vic was able to pose honest critique about the ways our work does not always support accessibility and justice in a way that invited our colleagues in instead of making them defensive. Bravo!"
-Emily Janssen, StoryCorps
Internships at StoryCorps were supported by Paul '70 and Heather Haaga.
"The organization certainly effected systematic social change in the communities that it was part of, because it had lots of long-term and comprehensive programs for individuals from ages five to twenty-five. They enriched the education of children, created a tight community, provided strong support systems, and offered lots of opportunity for jobs as well, so that after these children leave the programs they are more capable of succeeding outside of this. I also learned a lot about education, in terms of how to design and implement a curriculum for children that is interactive and engaging enough virtually. I also learned a lot about the benefits of long-term and comprehensive programs over short-lived and one-dimensional programs for disadvantaged communities."
-Lauren Almstead '22, B-SAFE/St. Stephen's Youth Programs
Internships at B-SAFE/St. Stephen's Youth Programs were supported by the Princeton Class of 1966 and the Princeton Class of 1972.
As an official Princeton University Program, PICS is now housed in the John H. Pace Jr. '39 Center for Civic Engagement. PICS is directed by Class of 1969 PICS Program Director Caroline Savage, and managed by PICS Program Coordinator Rose Holton. PICS is supported by its Friends Group, which consists of more than 2,500 members, and is steered by the Executive Committee:
Vice Chair: Bill Charrier '69
Secretary: Dina Brewer '88
Treasurer: Eve Lesser '77
Jennifer Daniels '93
Duncan Van Dusen '92 and Kate Bellin '02
Dr. Ralph Binder '70 and Yung Bong Lim '87
Debbie Danker '75 and Rob Falk '85
Bob Axelrod '69 | Bryant R. Blount '08 | Ricardo DeLeon '86 | Dr. Marty Eichelberger '67 | Dr. Evan Fieldston '98 |
Paul Haaga '70 | Steve Houck '69 | Raquiba Huq '13 | Prof. Stanley Katz | Stephen Kim S92 | Rick Kitto '69 |
Seva Kramer h69 | Nancy Lin '77 | Suzanne McSorley '77 | Vivian Moore p20 | Bob Raymar '69 | Rukiya Ross '14 |
Caroline Savage (ex-officio) | Jeri Schaefer h69 | Leonard Schaeffer '69 | Mary Strother Sullivan '90 |
Duncan Van Dusen '92 | Rob Wolk '91 | Shirley Wu '15
Truly, thank you for being a part of the PICS community as we all grow in service together.
Caroline Savage, Chuck Freyer '69, and Rose Holton
“Having the privilege of focusing on work and a cause greater than myself provided me the glimpses of grace that I started to so sorely need during this time of necessary political upheaval and global pandemic.”
-Maggie Poost '22, Ka Honua Momona International
Maggie's internship was supported by the Diane K. Weeks '75 Memorial Fund