Baron (right) at a BBQ for senior citizens in Deshong Park.
Increasing Access to the Humanities
When English major Rachel Baron ’15 was looking for summer internships in communications, she wanted a company that not only provided valuable work experience, but also had a mission statement she could become passionate about. She ultimately found what she was looking for with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC), a statewide, private non-profit dedicated to providing access to the humanities. “I thought of it as presenting the opportunity to hone my writing skills and messaging strategies,” Baron says, “while also staying engaged with the Philadelphia art and nonprofit world.” PHC is part of the Philly Partners program at the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, which matches Haverford students with nationally recognized organizations in Philadelphia for summer internships.
Since starting work in June, Baron has been editing news releases, conducting interviews, writing social media updates, and working on several larger projects. In early July, she helped organize a public ceremony during which PHC awarded the Scranton Neighborhood Pocket Park Collaborative a $50,000 check to be used to renovate parks in the area. She has also conducted research for the expansion of the PHC Teen Reading Lounge into low-income areas and helped develop the Chester Cultural Corridor plan, which aims to create a cultural corridor through the now-closed Deshong Park.
“I work with a very small, nurturing staff so there is a lot of room for personal initiative, which is great,” says Baron. “But it also poses a significant challenge for me.” Her job requires her to become well-acquainted with the organization’s needs in order to focus on innovative techniques and research the staff may be able to put into practice. “I am hoping to end the summer having contributed as much as I have learned,” she says.
—Sam Fox ’14