Home Community Blog Summer Interns Dig Deep with the International Rescue Committee and Local Refugees


Siya at the IRC New Roots garden in West Valley
Siya (blue T-shirt) at the New Roots garden in West Valley

Summer 2020 began the expansion of internships for rising seniors. Two weeks ago, Siya P. and Chloe H., both from the class of 2021,  concluded summer internships with the Salt Lake office of 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 in the New Roots program:  an essential part of the IRCs local  resettlement efforts.  It enables 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.  Said Chloe "It has been an incredible experience and I hope to continue service with the IRC during the coming school year." Siya observed "something that surprised me is all the math and calculations that it takes to run a farm." New Roots Director James Hunter added "We are so grateful for Waterford’s support, and the ability to host Chloe and Siya as interns this summer."  

Chloe at the Farmers' Market Waterford has had a long relationship with the IRC,  hosting refugee families  every year on campus for the Joni Jensen Dinner. 

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

Waterford also had students serving in the public health realm at the Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement District, and in education at the Waterford summer program. For information about summer internships for 2021 contact Erika Munson, internship coordinator. 

Erika Munson Erika Munson is a graduate of Harvard University where she received a B.A. in Fine Arts. She began her teaching career in the Park City School District where she was a reading intervention specialist at a Title 1 elementary school. She joined the English Department at Waterford in 2011 and in addition to her teaching is currently the Middle and Upper School Librarian and Class XII Interim Dean. In 2016 she was awarded an Oxbridge Teacher Fellowship for summer study focusing on The Library and the Academy at Oxford University. Erika is co-founder of  Emmaus, an LGBTQ support group for members of the LDS church. She spends her summers and weekends bringing diverse communities together for conversations about faith, values, and identity. The mother of five and grandmother of three, Erika and her husband Shipley live in Sandy where they read, write, garden, and walk their rescued greyhound together.

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