Sammamish high school students are dedicating their free time to summer internships that will further their advocacy and inform their future careers, while supporting both local and international communities.
We profile three students who are putting their summer breaks to good use.
Raghav Pradhan is an incoming junior at Skyline High School who is working as a summer intern for The Seattle Clemency Project, a nonprofit organization that recruits lawyers to work pro bono in support of reformed convicts, immigrants, and juveniles. Pradhan is on the communications team, so his current work involves marketing an upcoming panel in September at Seattle Preparatory School through social media. The panel features three previously incarcerated speakers and the injustices they experienced, alongside what listeners can do to help. While working with the internship, Pradhan has learned of the unique aspects of the legal system in Washington, such as the lack of parole.
“It’s really surprising that such a forward-thinking state can have such a backwards prison system, and some of the statistics I found in our readings were really shocking,” Pradhan said. “Hearing about real experiences in the prison system from previously incarcerated individuals also helped me gain a lot of perspective and taught me a lot about the circumstances that cause people to commit crime.”
Diya Karthic is an incoming senior at Tesla STEM High School who interned for Rooted at Carnation Farms, a seven-week paid internship in which high schoolers gain hands-on experience with farm work. A typical morning under the internship involves rotating tasks between fieldwork, such as weeding and harvesting, and livestock chores such as wellness checks, collecting eggs, and moving cows.
During the afternoons, interns received lessons taught by farm staff on the relationships between humans and nature, delving into topics such as soil health and food accessibility. They were treated to more field work afterwards.
Karthic said her main takeaway from the experience is an appreciation for our food and how much work goes into it.
“Carnation Farms is an all-organic farm so they can’t use things like pesticides and herbicides. We had to weed really big rows of crop[s] and there’s a lot of work that goes into that,” she said.
Sriya Peri, an incoming junior at Skyline High School, transitioned from an intern to a staff member at Leadership Initiatives in March. Leadership Initiatives is an international youth development nonprofit organization working to create change in legal, health, and other fields of concern in the developing world.
As an intern, Peri had worked on a health campaign in Leadership Initiatives’ Advanced Medical & Public Health Internship program. This program allows students to explore a medical career while working with experts to develop public health campaigns that provide diagnosis and treatment for patients in sub-Saharan Africa.
After Peri was offered a staff role, she has been remotely managing other interns in the nutritional anemia branch over the summer. Her role is to ensure that the campaign proposals for those teams are running smoothly.
“I wanted to get involved because the goal of Leadership Initiatives really stuck out to me as an impactful one in less fortunate communities,” Peri said. “I will learn both clinical and global medicine, and I will gain critical leadership skills which can help build a foundation for my career in the future.”