Beginning my Public Service Internship: Massachusetts Advocates for Children

Hello! Welcome to my first blog as I pursue my summer internship as a David C. Frederick Public Service Internship Award recipient. My name is Hosea Wah, an oncoming senior majoring in Computational Social Science with a minor in History and Africana Studies. This summer, I will be interning in Boston, Massachusetts, at the nonprofit: Massachusetts Advocates for Children under their Racial Equity and Access Program.

Throughout my time at the University of Pittsburgh, I have had the privilege to explore my passion for Education Equity through various opportunities. During these last few years, I have had a chance to serve as an AmeriCorps Jumpstart member, intern at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit as an Elsie Hilman Honors Scholar under their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department, and was awarded summer funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research to perform summer research on education inequity throughout Pittsburgh Public Schools with the support of Pitts School of Education Justice Scholars Institute Program. Having the privilege to participate in these activities, coupled with my personal experience and observations of the nation’s public school system, has driven me to leverage my privilege to pursue higher education to alleviate these discrepancies within the system.

During my summer as an intern at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, I will work with their Racial Equity and Access Program to develop ways to address racial trauma to advance healing amongst Boston Public School youth. REAP views racial trauma as trauma that is a consequence of historical racial and discrimination. Racial trauma encapsulates the consequences of the variation of psychological, mental, and emotional harm that can be caused by witnessing racism and discrimination and by experiencing it first-hand.  Racial trauma is vastly significant when discussing how it impacts students of color within academic settings, particularly Black students. Racial trauma also strongly correlates with other issues within our school system, such as the school-to-prison pipeline and the disproportionality in student discipline throughout schools. That being said, the work I will be doing this summer will be invaluable to me as a visitor and learner within the Boston community.

My passion for cultivating equity within the country’s school system has enabled me to pursue a legal education after earning my bachelor’s degree. I am interested in partaking in a career that allows me to use the legal system as an attorney to cultivate equity not only within schools but throughout society, particularly for those who our current system has historically disadvantaged. My dedication to Education Inequity has further piqued my interest in other issues such as criminal justice reform and voting suppression. Nonetheless, I firmly believe the roots of these issues directly correspond with the inadequate education primarily being provided to marginalized youth throughout our country.

Interning at Massachusetts Advocates for Children will allow me to further learn how our current notion of public education falls short for students of color, especially in major cities such as Boston, and how it can be addressed to serve all students. I am confident that my time with this organization will provide me with knowledge and skills that will prove indispensable as I pursue a career that will allow me to serve as a positive agent through the use of the law.

I am very excited and extremely grateful for this opportunity. I would like to thank Mr. David C. Frederick, the David C. Frederick Public Service Internship Award committee, and the Massachusetts Advocates for Children for making this opportunity possible.

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