In Chicago, Molly Rosen (she/her), 21, who is studying playwriting at DePaul University, had enrolled as a summer intern at a theater company. But COVID-19 squelched her plan after performances were canceled. (One recent survey suggests roughly a third of internships have been canceled this year.)
“I was pretty stressed out,” Molly acknowledged. “I’d spent last summer floating around, doing babysitting, and was really hoping I’d be doing something more meaningful and productive this year.”
Molly also worried that she’d have a harder time returning to college in the fall if she hadn’t made more use of her brain over the summer. When her older sister forwarded an email about the Service Corps, she wasted no time in signing up.
Her assignment was to do administrative work for I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit providing programs including tutoring, workforce training and urban farming. She spent her time analyzing surveys and writing a blog for the program’s website.
Molly asked for work that wouldn’t put her at risk of the virus and said she appreciated being able to do her job remotely. Yet even working at a desk helped draw her outside of her normal bubble, she said, as she learned about the urgent needs of communities so close to her campus.
This article originally appeared on the Schusterman Foundation blog on October 14, 2020.