Summer Internships: Lindsay Damon '25

July 12, 2023
Lindsay Damon smiling and standing in front of a doorway

Name: Lindsay Damon
Class Year: 2025
Major: Environmental Studies and Growth and Structure of Cities
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

Internship Organization: The People's Kitchen and Fishadelphia
Job Title: Coordination and Communications Intern
Location: Philadelphia, PA

What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!

As an intern for People's Kitchen and Fishadelphia, every day is something new! The People's Kitchen is a nonprofit that works with professional chefs and volunteers to give out free meals to the community. PK also runs community gardens and works with local organizations to keep food from going to waste. I go into the kitchen a few days a week, where I get to fillet fish for Fishadelphia, work on painting and organization, and help to cook delicious meals. On a typical day in the kitchen, I'll get in around 11:00 and chop up some vegetables for our meal that day. I might take a break to work on some grant writing and answer some emails, and then I'll get back to cooking. Throughout the day, I'm updating the PK social media with photos of the food for the day. Once we're done cooking, I'll sit down with our head chef and some volunteers to enjoy our meal together. Then, we work on plating up the food to give to the community! I finish up the day by washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I also spend some time out on the farm in Southwest Philly. Recently, I helped put up a hoop house to keep our plants warm. On other days, I do some communications work for Fishadelphia, which is a community-supported seafood program that delivers fresh and sustainable seafood to communities in and around Philadelphia. I send out weekly emails and texts to our customers and help with packing and distributing the fish itself.

Restaurant pick-up window painted with a mural and a stack of take-out food containers.

Why did you apply for this internship?

As a double major in cities and environmental studies, I wanted to work in a place where I could combine all of my interests. The work that I do at People's Kitchen is the perfect mix of my majors — I get to work in an urban environment while also spending time outside and learning about food sustainability. I designed this internship with the help of Dr. Talia Young, an environmental studies professor and the founder of Fishadelphia. I have been doing work with Fishadelphia for around a year now, and I've loved working for an organization that is so committed to food sustainability. Through Fishadelphia, I learned about People's Kitchen, and I was immediately interested in working with them as well.

Hand holding out a bowl of strawberries.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has been meeting people who are interesting, driven, and inspired to make change in the world. The volunteers at People's Kitchen come from so many careers and walks of life, and I've had great conversations with the people I've met. I am super inspired by my supervisors, both with People's Kitchen and Fishadelphia, and the visionary ideas that they have to make the world a better place. I've also loved meeting other college students and recent grads who care about the same issues that I do — it's been great to be in a community of people who are working to make a difference in the world.

Hands filleting a fish on a cutting board.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

This summer, I've been developing a combination of specific technical skills as well as soft skills that are making me a well-rounded person. For example, I've learned a lot about social media management, grant writing, and website design. I've worked with a variety of platforms to accomplish these tasks, and I appreciate these experiences because I feel fairly well-versed in these digital communication methods. I have learned a lot about what it takes to manage an urban garden, and I now know more about the types of plants that can survive in city environments, as well as the legal challenges that go along with this type of community garden. In addition to this, I have learned softer skills like leadership and flexibility. Recently, I unexpectedly jumped into a situation where I led volunteers in making our meals for the day since our lead chef couldn't make it. I learned about the skills I need to successfully lead a group of people, and afterward, I felt empowered to lead groups like this in the future.

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

Environmental Studies Growth and Structure of Cities