Center for Community Engagement

Internship Postcards: Emma Vaimberg '14

Vela Scholars

August 2011—story by Jenny Morgan

Emma Vaimberg ‘14 (pictured fourth from the left) was an after-school tutor for the Vela Scholars program during the spring semester this year, and she eagerly jumped at the opportunity to join the team of interns who brought the summer program to life.

‘You can’t just turn a blind eye’: Agostine Ndung’u ’12 awarded Dalai Lama Fellowship for initiative aimed at reducing ethnic violence in Kenya

Agostine Ndungu '12

May 2011—Story by Jenny Morgan, photo by Kate Berry '12

In the fall of 2008, Agostine Ndung’u ’12 moved from Kenya to the United States to join Amherst College’s class of 2012. Like his new peers, Amherst was the school of his dreams— and 2008 represented opportunity and hope. In spite of his excitement, however, he was deeply troubled by what he was leaving behind in Kenya.

Internship Postcards: Christine Lyons '12E

Christine Lyons

August 2011—story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy of Christine Lyons ‘12E

Christine Lyons ‘12E (pictured on the far right in the back row) has wanted to teach for as long as she can remember.

Internship Postcards: Adoma Manful '12

Adoma Manful

August 2011—story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy of Adoma Manful '12


Adoma Manful ’12’s internship with the American Cancer Society-Illinois (ACS) in Chicago, Illinois, was not her first time immersed in the field of healthcare.

Internship Postcards: Alex Gomes Pereira '12

CNA Picnic

July 2011—story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy of Alexandre (Alex) Gomes Pereira '12

Alex Gomes Pereira ’12, a history major from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, first took an interest in immigration while answering the phones at the Massachusetts State House in Boston last summer. He noticed that immigrants were calling frequently to get help “navigating the system” on a number of issues, most notably health care.

Getting 'real world experience': Robyn Lightner '11 shapes Boston food policy with research and community organizing

Robyn Lightner '11

May 2011—Story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy of Robyn Lightner ’11

Robyn Lightner ’11 never planned on writing a thesis.

She was so sure, in fact, that she made clear on her Civic Engagement Scholars application that a thesis was not in her future. An environmental studies major, Lightner (standing, on the right) was applying to the fellowship in 2010 to fund a summer internship focusing on food access in underserved neighborhoods in Boston. She was awarded the fellowship—with no thesis strings attached— and began working for the Food Project and the Bowdoin Street Health Center. Lightner’s biggest project was to initiate a study comparing the cost and quality of farmers’ market produce to grocery store produce. No one working on food issues in Boston had ever conducted such a study, and by the end of the summer, it was clear that she wasn’t finished. “I didn’t feel that I could let it go,” Lightner reflects. “I fell in love. I really felt invested in the follow through…and [getting] a good message out.” She continued her research, eventually translating the project into a 100-page thesis and a presentation for the Boston Food Policy Council. The thesis that might never have been is now helping shape the conversation on how to support getting fresh, local, and healthy produce in Boston’s underserved communities.

Sarah Leyman ’11, Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup finalist, reflects on years of organizing Amherst athletes for community service

Sarah Leyman '11

Story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy of Sarah Leyman '11

Sarah Leyman ’11 (pictured second from right) is currently competing with the women’s basketball team in the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament. Bolstered with a home court advantage through at least the Elite Eight, Leyman, co-captain of the team and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is optimistic for her final tournament with her teammates.