Jessica Palacios- Class of 2007
Location: New York
Internship: Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)
Alumni Host: Jack McSpadden

On her internship: "My boss and mentor, Joe Negron, welcomed me into the program immediately. I had a list of miscellaneous things to do - translate important paperwork into Spanish, call parents and arrange meeting times, spreadsheets, letters, and filing; a few days before school opened up for the students, I just helped clean up. And I was happy to do it.... Everyone worked hard, and everyone was nice, respectful, polite. This was a no-nonsense school, and the work ethic was contagious - you wanted to be there.

Nothing could have prepared me for this internship, or for the feelings of fulfillment that my summer experience has brought to me. On the last day of summer school, we had a little ceremony. At the very end, Joe Negron called my name. I wasn't expecting a public thank you, and emotion rang through me. I was the one that was thankful. I wish I could have expressed my desire to stay with KIPP then - though I think the thick tears streaming down my face were a bit of a giveaway..."

On her host family: "Jack McSpadden and his family were warm and welcoming. I had a lovely time in their beautiful Manhattan home. I was able to learn about all New York City had to offer by following Mr. McSpadden's advice. I really felt a part of the family -- my parents came to visit and we all went out to dinner! My favorite memory is sitting the living room with Mr. McSpadden and going through old Duke yearbooks. My summer of service was all the more meaningful because of my thoughtful and hospitable alumni hosts."

Laura Fuhrman- Class of 2007
Location: New York
Internship: Lawyers for Children
Alumni Host: Kazie Metzger

On her internship: "Bearing in mind the banality of this statement, my experience this summer at Lawyers for Children was perhaps the single most influential experience of my education thus far. One aspect of this internship which will forever ingrain this summer in my memory is how hands-on an experience it was.... I accompanied my supervisor (a social worker) on visits to foster homes, group homes, residential treatment centers, and to court. I met the clients face-to-face, and by the end of the summer, was interviewing them by myself! There was no divide between the social workers, attorneys, and other interns - during lunch we all sat together and talked. The legal interns were very helpful in answering questions about law school, etc. and the lawyers were forthcoming to act as future contacts for us all. It was a wonderful environment to work in and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to take part! This summer I was able to see exactly how such staff members touched their clients' lives and I can't wait to do the same in the future!"

On her host family: "Living with Kazie was absolutely wonderful! She was anxious to hear all about my job and my Duke experience - her daughter started at Duke this semester - so I spoke with her (Alex) a lot, too. Even though she wasn't there the entire summer, Kazie let me know that I was welcome to make myself at home in her apartment.... All in all it was a wonderful experience and made my summer in NY far more convenient and exciting!"

Philip Sugg
Class of 2007
Locaion: New York
Internship: Legal Outreach
Alumni Host: Dr. Ann Chanler and Andy Scheman

On his internship: "My internship required me to teach SAT-prep, reading, and writing classes, as well as with tutor and TA for some aspects of the summer program. They even gave me a mock trial team to coach. I also wrote a new curriculum for a basic math class that will begin this school year, and helped revamped the office's computer network. Then there were the field trips.... we went to a Yankees game, spent afternoon sessions at several gigantic New York corporate firms, and heard a Harvard Law Professor speak on civil liberties. Needless to say, I wouldn't have had any chance of getting access to these opportunities on my own.... No one just saw his or her students in the classroom and then said goodbye until tomorrow. When the time ended, our conversations continued out into the hall, conference rooms, and desks of the whole place. Naturally, you can't help but becoming friends in this sort of atmosphere."

On his host family: "Upon arriving home most days, I didn't step out of the elevator into a quiet, darkened living space. Typically, I found myself in the middle of a whole roomful of toys, games, and sports equipment, with two wild little girls taking responsibility for the scene. These were Alexandra, 9, and Kaya, 6, the two children of Annie and Andy Scheman, my guest parents. Their lively household was exactly the kind of welcoming environment you'd want after spending all day in the public spaces of New York.... On the mornings when I could get up, I'd take them to their school a few blocks downtown, or to one of the many parks in the area.... My guest parents took pains to make me a member of the family; the four of us went to a Broadway show, concerts, and dinners together. I also spent a great deal of time talking with both of them; we reminisced about Duke, talked about their careers, their family, culture and sports...."

On living and learning: "The flow between my work and home life never really settled into a routine, as both places had enough that was out of the ordinary going on to keep me unfamiliar with my surroundings. This aspect of my summer, its unsupervised, unpredictable, spontaneous nature, gave me a chance to taste real adulthood in one of the most open-ended places on Earth; each time I crossed the street, I was effectively a new person, and reminded that my life wasn't as settled as I believed it to be. It was a lesson that was more universal than any direction in a particular field, and since I'm the kind of person who gets restless in any one place after not too long, it was a very empowering one."

Elizabeth Kelly
Class of 2008
Location: Washington, D.C.
Internship: Catholic Charities
Alumni Host: Dave Johnson & Wendy Frieman

On her internship: "Both my internship and my host family experience far exceeded my expectations. One of the wonderful things about interning for a nonprofit is the lack of funds to hire actual staff. Hence, I was given responsibilities a nineteen year-old intern wouldn't typically be allowed. For instance, I occasionally got to make a pitch during a lobbyist visit on the Hill, routinely wrote the housing portion of the member newsletter that went out to 1,700 agencies, and also crafted a substantial portion of the housing section of the website. I attended congressional hearings and went in my boss's stead to meetings she couldn't make. Originally, I was supposed to work eight hours a day, four days a week, but it ended up being between fifty and sixty hours a week because I so enjoyed my job, and there was always so much to do.

On her host family: "Dave Johnson and Wendy Frieman ended up being the best hosts I could have possibly hoped for. They were so welcoming and hospitable. Within days of arriving, I felt like part of the family. Plus, they introduced me to many of the treasures DC has to offer: the Cosmos Club, Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, the Phillips Museum, the National Gallery, the Shakespeare Theater.... In addition they were fantastic cooks. I'm from New Orleans, and I don't believe I've ever eaten better."

Sally Ong
Class of 2007
Location: Washington, D.C.
Internship: Save the Children
Alumni Host: John & Barbara Tate

On her host family: "It was an amazing experience living with a close-knit and loving family. It was truly a terrific summer staying with John and Barbara. In fact, I would say that they highlight of my summer was staying with the Tates. We had long dinner conversations and they enthusiastically took me to tourist sites in DC and made me feel like part of the family. During Memorial Weekend we went to a family vacation home and I met the extended family... I had a phenomenal time swimming, boating, and eating! After my summer classes at Duke, I drove back to DC to visit the Tates for two days before classes started. I feel like I have truly gained a lifelong host family in the Tates and thanks to Summer of Service for the amazing placement!"

On her internship: "My internship with Save the Children was also exciting. We organized an advocacy day on Capitol Hill with 200 staff and volunteers from around the world present. We visited Senators and Members of Congress to ask them to sign three bills for the protection of children in emergencies, maternal and child health, and protection of children affected by Hurrican Katrina and Rita. It was my first time on the Hill and it was exciting to visit representatives' offices, talk with their legislative aides and lobby for issues I feel strongly about."

Dan Friedman
Class of 2008
Location: New York
Internship: Legal Outreach
Alumni Host: Carol Andrus

On his internship: "One responsibility I had was working with an introductory program for upcoming ninth graders called the Summer Law Institute. This program teaches thirty students about criminal justice and trial procedures through lectures, speakers, field trips, and a big mock trial competition. My job was to act as a mock trial coach for two teams, accompany the group on field trips, and act as a TA for the class.... I loved working at Legal Outreach. It was intellectually stimulating and I loved working with both the students and the staff."

On living in the city: "I had a great time living in New York City. I attended several Broadway shows, concerts, and baseball games. I met friends from Duke and from home and explored different parts of the city, my favorite being Greenwich Village and Brooklyn. I had a great summer and did a lot more than did many of my friends after their freshman year of college!"

Megan O'Flynn
Class of 2007
Location: Washington, D.C
Internship: Children's Defense Fund
Alumni Host: William Carducci

On her internship: "As an intern in CDF's Early Childhood Development Division, I did spend time meeting with Congressional offices, as well as updating the Head Start Reauthorization Bill and analyzing the impacts of preschool for children in poverty. But the internship experience went far beyond typical 'office work.' CDF sponsored numerous community volunteering ventures, arranged for interns to attend conferences on world hunger and progressive student activism, and invited us to be a part of the Fund's 'Young Adult Leadership Training' and 'Child Watch' programs.... I got to see firsthand how policies can hurt or help children.... I had the incredible opportunity to live and work in Washington D.C. at a great internship, and it truly would not have been possible for me to work at CDF for ten weeks without the help and support of the SOS team."

On her host family: "My alumni family was absolutely incredible. It was great to feel like I had a home to go to at the end of the workday, and living with Angela and Mary, age 9 and 6, made me feel a little bit like a big sister. It was really great to be able to talk to Bill, who attended Duke, about life then and now, especially because he has a 17 year old daughter that is considering applying early decision this fall. I was awesomely blessed to have lived with such a great family, and they are fantastic people for allowing me to sleep, eat, and live as one of their own."

Katie Cox
Class of 2006
Location: Washington, D.C
Internship: National Women's Health Network
Alumni Host: Susan Prince

On SOS: "My overall assessment of this experience was that it changed my life in so many ways. While that may seem like a bit of an exaggeration, I can honestly say that I feel this way. At the same time that I was applying for my internship for Summer of Service, I was also applying to Sales and Marketing internships. After being accepted into Summer of Service, but not yet with the National Women's Health Network , I was accepted into my top choice Sales and Marketing internship. It was one of the most difficult decisions that I have faced.... I knew that I would have to find and pay for my own housing, and possibly find a roommate that I did not know... At the same time, I was still really hoping to see what would happen with my application at the National Women's Health Network. When I got accepted for the internship position at National Women's Health Network , I knew this was what I wanted to immerse myself in for the summer. However, this option would not have been so attractive without Summer of Service. In addition to whatever internship experience I would receive, I was able to get free housing in DC, which has a very high cost of living, and a $1000 stipend to use for Metro fare, food, and other expenses. It seemed to take care of all of the potential financial problems that could arise. Also, I would get to live with a family, and I was sure that would be a fun experience."

On her internship: "One of the things that I observed about the workplace culture was just how much one's job can really affect others. I do not think that this can be said for every line of work, which is why I feel even more privileged to have worked with a non-profit organization. Each day, I would receive phone calls from women across the country who really needed help with a problem, or who needed to obtain information from a reliable, credible source. It was my responsibility to research her concern/problem and get the information to her as quickly as possible. I know that with the information that I sent these women, they were able to make more informed, educated decisions about illnesses or situations that were of extreme importance to them. I still cannot believe that I helped women do that! It was an amazing feeling to know that I was directly helping others, and it made our workplace a great environment to be in every day."

On her host family: "As if the internship experience alone was not enough to make my summer wonderful, the experience I had with my host family made this experience spectacular in every aspect... On my first day in DC, my host mom Susan told me about how excited the kids were that I was going to be there for the summer. After the kids were dropped off from the school bus, they came running at full speed into the house to meet me. I was so excited and actually nervous because I wanted to be everything they hoped I would be. The best thing about living with the Prince family is that I went from a "summer intern," to a third child. I was now the big sister for the summer. Every morning I would have breakfast with my little brother and sister, and every day after school they would tell me all about their days. Each evening, the kids would do their homework at the kitchen table and tell me all about their teachers and friends. It was such a nice feeling to be accepted into a part of their family. Part of me did not know what to expect, but this turned out to be more than I could have hoped for. When studying abroad in Barcelona, I lived with a host family. They gave me a key to their apartment and that was about as much interaction as I had with them. I halfway expected this same thing, but being a part of their family was so much better. The kids' mother, Susan, became my mother also. She gave me advice about work, boys, and about my future plans. But what was even better was that she became my friend also. We would go shopping together on the weekends and watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart together at night. I would also tell all about my social life, and she would tell me stories about her experiences at Duke... This family truly is amazing, and I consider myself so lucky that they let me be a part of them for the entire summer."

Katie Xiao
Class of 2006
Location: Washington, D.C
Internship: International Information Programs Bureau- State Department's East Asian and Pacific Office Alumni Hosts: Brent and Terry Blackwelder

On Summer of Service: "This summer was undeniably one of the most educational and best experiences of my life. From the very beginning, the Summer of Service program played a big role in helping me get off to a good start. There are not enough words to express my gratitude to the organizers and the alumni who helped me this summer.... Summer of Service combined two worlds for me, one which is comprised of everything related to Duke and another which is composed of what somebody entering the real world needs to know."

On her host family: "I owe so much to everybody in the Blackwelder family, who not only offered to host me this summer but also shared their life experiences with me and gave freely of their time and their energy so that I could have a great stay in D.C. I respected them for their intelligence, knowledge about politics and passion for making the most out of life."

On her internship: "One particularly interesting part of the internship was attending brown bag lunches arranged by the State Department's student programs coordinator. We heard great presentations from Foreign Service Director Robert Pearson and Secretary of State Condi Rice, among other speakers. The internship lived up to every possible expectation I had about working for the State Department. It gave me an inside view. There are thousands of extremely talented, dedicated and articulate full-time employees working for the United States government, all fortunately acting as the mouthpieces and ears of the people we chose for our leaders. I worked with all types of people, from entry-level employees to writers who had been with the State Department for more than twenty years. On my internship, I don't think I used the photocopier more than once, and the one time I did use it was for non-work related reasons. I contributed written material to a daily product called the Washington File, which informed foreign communities and individuals about U.S. policy. My articles highlighted U.S. commitment to worldwide stability and prosperity whenever possible. The US International Information Programs website ( published the stories I wrote, and after a few days, the stories would frequently surface on the websites of embassies and other news sources that subscribed to our newswire service. I felt very lucky to be doing real work, work that was more important than I sometimes realized."

Yuting Fan
Class of 2008
Location: Washington, D.C
Internship: YMCA
Alumni Host: Marilyn Holmes

On Summer of Service: "I decided to participate in the Duke Summer of Service program because of my yearning for adventure and feeling of nostalgia: I wanted to independently explore a city that I had never been to, and I wanted to resume my participation in children's summer programs.... Duke Summer of Service enabled me to do all of what I have just mentioned- visiting, exploring, plus devoting myself to my long term interest in volunteerism."

On her host family: "From the moment that I was picked up from the airport, Marilyn made me feel at ease with her family. During my month-long stay with Marilyn's family, I saw James Blake in a tennis match, learned (or, more precisely, tried to learn) swing dance, and went to see a rather intriguing independent film. On many occasions, I was invited to dine with her family and had the pleasure of meeting her friends and relatives. Whenever I had a problem with my beloved laptop, Terry, the computer expert in the family, helped me with it."

On her internship: "Thingamajig is an annual kids' invention convention that brings over 3000 kids from 5 to 14 to explore creative inventions in science, technology, and the arts... no more than twenty dollars can be spent on materials, and recycled materials are much encouraged and preferred. Though Thingamajig ended on the 4th, my learning certainly did not. From distributing the certificates and prizes to making modifications for the next year, I worked with passionate Y workers and saw how the Thingamajig was able to thrive for the 11 th year."

Sarah Gordon- Class of 2008
Location: Chicago
Internship: YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Alumni Host: Dan Dickinson

On living in a new city: "The thrill of being in the Windy City was always a welcome feeling because I grew up in a small, mid-western college town that lacked all the amazing cultural opportunities that Chicago had.... I experience for the first time, the thrills and challenges of living independently in a big city."

On her internship: "My experience as an intern at the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago in the Women's Service division was extremely enriching. My first major project included designing and completing an informational letter-writing campaign targeted at elected officials in the metropolitan Chicago area.... The project was fulfilling and challenging: I have never had a class assignment where I felt like the assignment I was working on mattered as much to anyone in the real world as this project did.... I learned a lot about the world of non-profits and also about myself as an individual."

On living with a host family: "The experience of living with a host family was a wonderful because without it, I would not have been able to afford housing in downtown Chicago. I also would have had more trouble convincing my parents to let me take the internship: staying with the Dickinson's in Chicago provided me with a safety net so I knew I could contact someone if I was ever lost or stranded."

Annie Chanler & Andy Scheman (Trinity '85)
Alumni hosts for Philip Sugg

What did you enjoy about Summer of Service?
"Learning about what's happening at Duke these days; affording Phillip the opportunity to get to know New York; having an older brother figure for our grade school-aged girls; experiencing the ease and joy of hosting a stranger in your home; and getting a sneak preview of what college students are about these days."

Did you enjoy hosting the student who stayed with you? 
"Immensely, so much so that we're afraid to commit to another student since we can't  imagine anyone being as wonderful as Phillip was/is. He was mature, polite, engaged with our kids, respectful, interesting, smart and incredibly independent."

Carol Andrus (Class of '57)
Alumni host for Dan Friedman

"I loved being part of this program. I hosted Dan Friedman, and he was a very nice, motivated young student...curious about the world. I grew up down south, and people always said: "Always put more back into the bowl of life than you take out!", and I try to do that. I backpacked alone through India for 4 months, and people put me up in their homes..... I have an extra bedroom in my NY apartment and there are frequent visitors staying with from all over the world... I love putting good things into the Bowl of Life!"

Susan Prince

Alumni host for Katie Cox

"We really enjoyed hosting our student (Katie Cox).   She was very easy-going and had a wonderful personality.  Having never hosted a student before, we were a bit apprehensive as to how the summer would work out.  It exceeded all our expectations.  Katie really became a member of our family, going with us on outings sharing meals, and generally acting like a terrific big sister to my two children.

Of course it was a bit of an adjustment having a grown young woman in the house (read someone who can stay up way late and enjoyed the Washington night life), but Katie was very responsible and extremely considerate of our family's lifestyle and rhythms.   We never had any problems or issues in any way.

We became very fond of Katie and are planning to visit her on campus this fall.  She's also planning on spending Thanksgiving with us."

Kazie Metzger (Class of '68
Alumni host for Laura Fuhrman

"We thoroughly enjoyed have Laura Fuhrman stay with us.... The best part is that she had a really wonderful internship that was meaningful.  Of course, we had nothing to do with that, but it was fun to hear about it....

The most fun for us was that my daughter, Alex Harvey, '09 got to meet and get to know a rising junior this summer.  Also, we hosted the class of '09 welcome reception at out apartment.  I asked Laura to come back for it.  She did and she was very helpful in answering questions, etc.  She definitely added to the party."

Ronnie Rosenberg
Alumni host for Kate Guthrie

"Kate was wonderful. The best part of having her around was watching her interact with our 4-year-old boy, Harris, who really enjoyed her company. Especially because his older brother left for sleep away camp the day Kate arrived. She clearly filled a void in our house and we all welcomed it.

We liked the fact that she felt comfortable eating dinner with us and didn't always run out the door during the evenings. We really got to know her."

Jo Bennett
Alumni host for Miho Kubagawa

"We very much enjoyed having Miho stay with us and we were impressed with her dedication to the work that she was doing at the KIPP school in Harlem. She amazed us by the hours that she spent at the school."