Home Community Blog Students Engage in Humanitarian Aid, Day Camps, and Entomology During Summer Internships


Joanna W. ’21 empties mosquito traps and hunts for more insects with just her net in the marshlands. Photo by Erika Munson.
Joanna W. ’21 empties mosquito traps and hunts for more insects with just her net in the marshlands. 


The summer of 2020 was slated as the expansion of Waterford’s summer internship program. For the past five years, our students have had great success working in research labs of the University of Utah School of Pharmacology, so we chose to build on that model by adding community partners from the nonprofit and business industries. Several business internships and the program at the University of Utah were postponed, but Waterford continued with three of the opportunities with six rising seniors. 

Siya P. ’21 (blue shirt) at the New Roots garden. Photo by Erika Munson.
Siya P. ’21 (blue shirt) at the New Roots garden. 

Two students, Siya P. and Chloe H., worked with the International Rescue Committee. The IRC is a global non-profit that responds to humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives are shattered by conflict to survive and gain control of their future. Siya and Chloe worked specifically in the New Roots program, an essential part of the IRC’s local resettlement efforts enabling refugees to grow and market a variety of crops that feed their families, build community and provide income. Siya and Chloe worked in all aspects of the program, from planting, farm maintenance, agricultural education, to getting the crops to market. 

“It has been an incredible experience and I hope to continue service with the IRC during the coming school year.” -Chloe H. ’21 

Tioné H. ’21 on a hike with campers at Summer at Waterford School. Photo by Erika Munson.
Tioné H. ’21 on a hike with campers at Summer at Waterford School. 

In education, Tioné H. helped kick off our camp program with Summer at Waterford School. Camp Director Kent Hercules remarked that she was a vital member of the staff, “Tioné — quiet, diligent, reliable, and unflappable, added so much to the 1st-2nd grade day camp this summer. She was the first to arrive in the morning—preparing the playground and helping teachers get ready. She supported children who got hurt playing, encouraged the ones who were hesitant to participate, adeptly handled all tasks big or small, and even played water games each week with the class. Tioné was a constant, steady influence on her campers, always present and always looking for what needed to be done.” 

And in entomology & public health, three students, Zach D., Elise S., and Joanna W., interned with the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District (SLCMAD), a public health, research, and educational government agency. Their responsibilities included managing traps around Salt Lake and the rural wetlands, identifying and counting mosquitoes, conducting experiments on mosquito pesticide resistance, and testing mosquito samples for West Nile virus. 

We look forward to more summer internships in the summer of 2021. Even in the midst of a pandemic, Waterford students were able to learn, serve, and make a difference in our community. If you or your employer are interested in being an internship partner with Waterford, please contact Erika Munson. 

Upper School

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