Harvard Club of Naples Community Service Fellowships & Internships

2017-2018 Internships Committee Report

Rebecca Lambert, Chair

The Harvard Club of Naples began sponsoring internships for current Harvard students from Collier County with local not for profit groups in 2008.  Students receive $15/hour for their work averaging $1,974 per internship. To date, a total of 19 different students and 18 different not for profit organizations in our community have benefited from the HCN internship program and a total of $84,906 has been dispersed. This past summer $15,648 was paid to six different Harvard students, including two of the three incoming first year students. No Harvard students participated in the program over the winter break.

This year we collaborated with the Non-Profit Leader Program by having the participants of the Non-Profit Leader Program create specific projects for the students. Habitat for Humanity, Artis—Naples, Grace Place, and Jewish Family and Community Services of Southwest Florida all created internship proposals. Our hope is that our 2018 summer interns will take advantage of some of these opportunities.

The Harvard Club of Naples Internship Program is unique, providing much needed financial support for our students while giving them work experience and exposure to the non-profit realm. The program also benefits our community’s no-profit organizations and increases Harvard’s presence locally.

Reflections: Julia Reed-Betts

Artis—Naples is a vital hub for art in Southwest Florida. The location of both the Philharmonic and the Baker Museum puts Artis—Naples in a unique position to offer performing and visual art programs for the public. I have had wonderful childhood memories at the Philharmonic, performing with the Miami City Ballet in the Nutcracker, and visiting the Baker Museum with my mom, who is in artist. I was eager to intern at Artis—Naples to better understanding the internal workings of a place I’ve grown up visiting countless times.

The Harvard Club of Naples internship program provided me with a remarkable opportunity to dive into three different departments over my time at Artis—Naples. Each department—Development, Marketing, and Museums—gave me a different look into the organization’s structure and function. I quickly discovered a multitude of careers in the arts, as well as a deeper understanding of the day-to-day activities of a variety of jobs. As a History of Art and Architecture concentrator at Harvard, my interests in museum work were strengthened by my internship.

In Development and Marketing, I was able to bring a fresh and youthful perspective to both teams to aid in targeting a new demographic, namely the growing SW Florida population. My social media abilities were also put into use as I developed a social media planner for the 2018-19 calendar year. The Museum team was well underway setting up their exhibition when I joined them. The opportune timing exposed me to a vast range of professionals—from conservators to framers—that make the exhibition possible. Overall, I was able to lend a helping hand in logistical planning, preparation, and execution of daily tasks related to each department and often across departments.

My internship experience has furthered my interest in museums, branding, design, and visual communications. As technology increases and our world becomes digital, the importance of visual content is higher than ever before. I am very thankful to the Harvard Club of Naples and Artis—Naples for offering an exceptional opportunity to explore future career paths as well as give back to our community.

Reflections: Yanet Gomez

This summer, after two months of studying abroad in Brazil, I returned to Naples for one month. During this month, I had the opportunity to continue to work with the Neighborhood Health Clinic as a Spanish, and now also Portuguese, interpreter. The Neighborhood Health Clinic focuses on helping the uninsured and low-income members of our community in Naples. The clinic survives on generous private donations and the dedicated work of volunteer doctors and nurses from an array of specialties as well as members of the community that volunteer as clinic staff.

As a pre-med student that’s considering a future in medicine and has a special interest in public health and in helping minority populations, the clinic presents a microcosm of exemplary health care. The physicians carefully listen to the patients’ experiences and complaints in order to arrive at the best diagnoses and treatments. However, at the clinic, health is not perceived solely as the absence of disease; instead, a state of health is taken to mean a balance in all areas of the patient’s life, which with the specific population the clinic helps it is often difficult to find. The clinic provides care not just a service. As an interpreter, I had the opportunity to accompany patients and physicians in the consultation rooms and actively participate within the patient-doctor relationship. I was able to visualize the kinds of relationships I want to have with my future patients and the kinds of care I want to be able to provide one day. As I return to Harvard for my junior year, I am taking more classes on medical anthropology and global health in order to better understand people and the effects of health care on patients.

I want to thank the Harvard Club of Naples for helping me focus my abilities and offer my help to a community organization that is really having a positive and life-changing impact in the lives of so many hard-working and honest members of our community.


Reflections: Enxhi Buxheli

In my second year of interning at Quest for Success, a college preparation program here in Naples, I was given a lot more responsibility in the program. During the summer, I worked to help start a fundraising program for Quest so they could take on more students who would, otherwise, be unable to pay for the program’s tuition fees without a sponsorship. Many of the students this funding will help are on free and reduced lunch in the county and will be the first in their family to go on to college. The efforts of Quest will help many of these students not only to get into a four-year college, but also to secure financial aid to make their college experience possible. Throughout my time at Quest, I wrote grants and helped to establish presentations and pamphlets for fundraising efforts that will continue beyond this summer. This fundraising effort will have lasting effects on the program and will continue to help students in Collier County in their pursuit of a college education. Beyond the financials, I served as a mentor and tutor for the students that came throughout the summer. I helped people of all backgrounds with test preparation and effective time management habits and study skills to help them achieve their goals in and out of school. I am thankful that the Harvard Club of Naples motivated me to spend this summer in Naples helping the community and admire their generosity and commitment to the community.

Reflections: Sydney Record

I am extremely grateful for the internship opportunity I was afforded this summer. I spent the summer interning as a research volunteer at a cardiothoracic research center that is part of the Lee Health group. In the training that was required before I began, I learned so much about the large role ethics play in research, especially clinical research. Informed consent must not only be fully and truly obtained, but also be an ongoing process, so that each patient is informed and consenting every moment he or she is taking part in a research study. My understanding of research ethics grew immensely throughout my internship, as I watched my mentor interact with the many patients enrolled in our valve trial. There were several obstacles that made following protocol difficult at times, such as a lack of a study product, but she ensured that she never deviated from protocol. This illustrated the importance of making sure that practices that are best for patient safety are in place even when difficult.

Another special element of my internship was the fact that it involved clinical, rather than lab, research. I spent the summer in a hospital environment, interacting with patients, doctors, and nurses. While I learned much about the physiology of the heart, I also learned about patient care. Every healthcare professional I had the opportunity to shadow treated patients with the utmost respect, speaking with them honestly about the trial and the healthcare opportunities it afforded them. Speaking with the patients, I was humbled to learn of the trust they put in their doctors. It will be an honor to have patients put that trust in me one day.

One of the most impactful days of my internship was the day I got to observe a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, or CABG, procedure. It was my first time observing cardiothoracic surgery, which was especially incredible since I aim to be a cardiothoracic surgeon. The surgery lasted about five hours, and standing at the head of the patient and getting used to wearing a surgical mask, I was physically exhausted. But, it was truly spectacular to watch. I think the chest cavity is amazing, nothing is in there but the heart and it serves to protect just that. Due to several complications, such as a saphenous that was branching and calcified arteries in the heart, the surgery lasted much longer than expected. But, as the surgeon explained this to me, he said something extremely important, which was that, even when surgery lasts for a long time, it is the doctor’s job to make sure he or she continues to operate perfectly, doing everything he or she can to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.