A Social Justice Internship on the Boston Waterfront




As a Brookline High sophomore with dual interests in the environment and social justice, we researched many organizations for Alex. We connected him to a placement where he was able to work with inner city children as a junior program assistant in marine education. He enjoyed the experience of commuting into the city on his own and teaching kids about crabbing, fishing and identifying sea life.

In his journal, Alex wrote,

“One of my first trips out to George’s Island, there was a slow boat full of kids and we were a distance away. I could see the kids getting a bit fidgety so I started asking questions about what they could see in the harbor and kids began to liven up. Once we got to the island, they were excited. I was proud that I made their trip more enjoyable and I also learned that just a question or two can really make a difference in someone else’s experience.”

Alex’s mentor, who was the Director of Programs and Development, wrote his letter of recommendation,

“Alex was given a crash course in local marine ecology and the fundamentals of research science. He took on a leadership role in what can be an exceptionally challenging audience- at risk youth close to his own age. In both regards, he excelled. His natural enthusiasm and interest in the environment helped him keep up with scientific topics and his approachable demeanor combined with his outstanding work ethic made him an engaging leader with the kids we serve.”

Boston Environment Internship At Mass Audubon

As a junior at Weston High, Ollie has a wide variety of interest: athletics, environmental action and teaching inner-city kids. He especially enjoyed a previous Outward Bound kayak trip. IC counselors searched for a placement site that would allow Ollie to explore combined interests: the environment and working with students in environmental education. Ollie became a teaching assistant at a Mass Audubon community based education center in Mattapan that provides environmental education to local youth.

Ollie told us that he enjoyed helping students with a variety of hands-on activities and field trips to salt marshes and the Blue Hills Observatory. He told us that the most important things he gained from his internship were:

1. Enjoying students from an urban environment

2. Learning about practical strategies to use in the classroom

3. Mastering driving around rotaries in Boston!

Boston Environment And Alternative Energy Internship

Sara, a junior at Lexington High,  became interested in alternative energy as a freshman when she conducted a wind feasibility study for her science fair project. Taking daily readings from an anemometer, she compared household gas/energy to potential wind power, calculating usage and cost. Impressed by the results in support of wind power, she continued her interest sophomore year when she wrote a research paper on the Cape Wind project.

Sara expressed a desire to become more involved in renewable energy and sought an internship that would further her research interests in both solar and wind power.  We placed her at an Energy Consumers Alliance where she worked on several projects relating to community outreach and advocacy. She created a pamphlet as a way to promote renewable energy, visited a wind turbine in Hull, MA, researched the science involved in solar panels, and developed a series of lesson plans on solar energy for high school students.

Sara told us that her summer internship solidified her interest in environmental science and she intends to further her studies in college. She is including her mentor’s letter of recommendation in her college application.

Her mentor writes,

“Sara proved her academic intelligence with the quickness that she picked up tasks and complicated policy and scientific concepts. The project she developed for high schools about solar panels demonstrated her ability to not only understand the complex nature of solar energy, but to consolidate the information into easy-to-understand activities for high school students, relating to physics, chemistry and math. With the intelligence and drive that Sara brought to our organization as a high school student, I can only imagine how she will bloom through her experiences in college.”

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