The Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative Internship Program selected six Class of 2019 students to participate in its public service program this summer. Michael Asparrin, Mikaela Gerwin, Julia Herrle, Tylor-Maria Johnson, Aaron Sobel, and Sophie Troyka were selected as the newest SINSI interns.
The SINSI Internship Program funds six 8- to 10-week summer internships with the federal government, granting students exposure to public service either domestically or abroad. Students can receive up to $500 per week to cover their living and travel expenses during the unpaid internship. While this year’s interns are all juniors, the internships are open to all Princeton undergraduates in their sophomore or junior years.
In addition to receiving funding, the interns receive guidance from the SINSI directors in selecting internships and bypassing security clearances or background checks. The directors also serve as mentors throughout the internship. Past internships have included positions at the White House; U.S. Embassies; Departments of Treasury, State, Education, Energy, Justice; and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Asparrin, from Ewing, N.J., interned at the nonprofit organization Make the Road New Jersey in summer 2017 through the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program, where he worked with working-class and low-income immigrants in Elizabeth, N.J. On campus, Asparrin is concentrating in the Wilson School, focusing on conflict and cooperation, and pursuing certificates in History and the Practice of Diplomacy and Spanish Language and Culture. He is also the chair of the Association of Latinx Activism and Service, serves on the Princeton Latinos y Amigos executive board, and is a student representative on the Priorities Committee in the Office of the Provost.
Gerwin, from New York, N.Y., interned with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless during the summer of 2016, where she worked with doctors and case managers to ensure that homeless individuals received primary care and housing services. Before coming to Princeton, Gerwin spent a gap year in Peru teaching English and working on community health programs. In spring of 2018, she will study abroad at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. On campus, Gerwin is a history concentrator, pursuing a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy. She has served as a student leader at the Center for Jewish Life, a weekly ESL teacher at El Centro in Trenton, and a peer academic adviser in Forbes College, among other leadership positions.
Herrle, from Wexford, Pa., conducted research on the effects of agrobiodiversity on ecosystem services during an internship in Nepal with Bioversity International, a global agriculture research-for-development organization, during the summer of 2017. The previous summer, Herrle taught English in Paris, France. On campus, she is a Wilson School concentrator and is pursuing certificates in Environmental Studies and Values and Public Life. Additionally, she is a supervisor for TigerCall and the Big Sibs coordinator for Community House Big Sibs, a program that aims to foster relationships between local elementary students and Princeton undergraduate mentors.
Tylor-Maria Johnson, from New York, N.Y., interned at Harlem Community Justice Center during the summer of 2016, where she planned and facilitated community events for incoming parole court clients and their families. This past summer, she interned at the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest, Hungary, where she researched Romani school segregation. On campus, Johnson is a sociology concentrator and a certificate candidate in African American Studies and American Studies. She is also a member of the Black Student Union Executive Board and sings with the University’s Gospel Ensemble.
Johnson believes that the internship will grant her exposure to the government system. She also hopes to see how the Department of Education, her preferred internship placement, will use policy and law in conjunction with grant writing. Johnson also wants to gain a better sense of the U.S. legal process for her senior thesis.
Sobel, who lives in Fairfax, Va., but spent most of his life in southeast Asia, interned for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia this past summer, where he conducted legal research and wrote motions, findings, and sentencing memoranda. On campus, Sobel is concentrating in the Wilson School and is a certificate candidate for History and the Practice of Diplomacy and Values and Public Life. He is also the team captain for Princeton Mock Trial and chargé d’affaires (formerly undersecretary-general) of the Princeton Model United Nations Conference.
Troyka, of Saline, Mich., interned in a software start-up in Tel Aviv in 2016. During the summer of 2015, she studied French in Aix-en-Provence and interned for a law firm. On campus, she is concentrating in the Wilson School department and pursuing a certificate in Environmental Studies. She is also the marketing lead for TigerLaunch, the University’s national entrepreneurship competition, an ecology representative for the Office of Sustainability, which promotes the integration of sustainability into campus life, and the co-captain of the University’s Equestrian Team.