Summer Internship: Amara Gregorek '23

August 1, 2021
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Name: Amara Gregorek
Class Year: 2023
Major: English and French
Hometown: New York City

Internship Organization: DOROT
Job Title: Lasting Impressions Intern
Location: Remote (the organization is based in NYC)
Award: Nancy J. Vickers Internship Fund


What’s happening at your internship?

At DOROT, I help to organize and lead different events or workshops for older adults in order to help alleviate social isolation. For many older adults, their social circles and support systems become smaller and smaller as they age, leaving them susceptible to both physical and mental health problems. A few weeks ago, I created and led a workshop on the history of different LGBTQ+ pride flags for pride month and did crafts with older adults. I also help other members in my department when they lead a virtual event by monitoring the chat, muting background noise and answering any queries or concerns. Essentially, I help to facilitate and support both small and large format programs and/or discussions between older adults and volunteers. Additionally, each week I contact an older adult to check in with them, build rapport and help them to write short memoirs in the form of “Legacy Projects.”

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to this internship because I wanted to learn how to be a better advocate for older adults. During my sophomore year of high school, I started volunteering at DOROT and found a love for connecting with older adults, storytelling and uncovering a person’s legacy. Now, four years later I continue to admire the organization’s focus on the legacy that we leave behind and want to work with older adults to create what is called “Legacy projects” or oral history memoirs. After being in a state of social isolation for almost two years, I’ve realized how important it is for people to stay connected to each other (especially older adults who have been at risk during the pandemic). I was especially excited to apply to this internship because I wanted to explore how storytelling could foster human connection. My studies in the humanities at Bryn Mawr have allowed me to build a strong foundation of creativity and cultural knowledge that have been invaluable to the internship.

 

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Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?

Working remotely as a DOROT college intern during the pandemic has been challenging yet surprisingly pleasant. There are often technical challenges, as with any video conferencing, but the team of people that I work with is completely understanding and we have found ways to work around the difficulties. What has been most heartwarming when doing this internship remotely is how many older adults I see at different events/workshops that the organization hosts. There are so many more people that can join from all over the country and even the world! Zoom has greatly increased the hosting capacity and allowed friends to connect globally. It is a great way for community members to stay connected regardless of location.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

The Lasting Impressions summer internship at DOROT has been more than I could have hoped for. It has offered me opportunities to build my interpersonal communication skills with people of all ages and become familiar with various databases. I was surprised and so grateful to see how much freedom and independence was given to me as an intern. From the beginning, I was uplifted to brainstorm ideas for events or workshops and even lead my own. Taking initiative, asking questions and remaining present are all highly encouraged in my department and the organization widely. Most interns don’t have the chance to lead meetings or propose new ideas but I feel both trusted and valued.


Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.

Department of Literatures in English

French and Francophone Studies