Engaging the next generation

Carol Zhou
Mon, 07/30/2018 (All day)

Meet our 2018 DukeEngage Intern

Carol at Cannon Beach for a day trip with the DukeEngage 2018 cohort

Long yearning for an opportunity to engage in service for the environment, I joined the DukeEngage program in Portland for a summer internship working at 1000 Friends. DukeEngage is a service-learning summer program initiated by Duke University that sends students across the country and overseas to spend eight weeks working in communities to help address local issues. The Portland project focuses on partnering with nonprofit organizations to tackle with conservation and urban sustainability. Among several outstanding community partners, I chose 1000 Friends because I am interested in Portland’s very effective Urban Growth Boundary and I am passionate about conservation of natural resources.

Brought up in Shanghai, China, I am now a rising sophomore at Duke University in North Carolina. Though I have not declared a major yet, I am determined to study Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry. I am in the Duke Chorale and I do research analysis of Branched-chain amino acids(BCAA) at a lab in the BME department. I dream of working in the pharmaceutical industry to develop medicines for tough diseases, but am at the same time concerned with environmental issues because healthcare practices constantly generate chemical waste that negatively affect our environment. Hence, I value this opportunity to work at a nonprofit in the environment sector during the summer.  

Working at 1000 Friends has granted me an experience like no other. I learned about land use and agriculture in Oregon, as well as challenges faced by the state such as forest fires and lack of affordable housing. My main project here is to draft a social media guide for 1000 Friends to more effectively use various platforms that engage the community in thoughtful conversations and inspire people to celebrate Oregon and its unique land use system. In addition, I will be building a story bank involving narratives of people and places in Oregon, which will be featured through various 1000 Friends public platforms. Through these projects, I practiced my writing and interviewing skills as well as learned to hold conversations with people regarding environmental issues. Impressed by how much the staff at 1000 Friends are dedicated to the work, I have been making efforts to complete my projects well and hope I can make a meaningful contribution over my eight weeks here.