When two HWS students were presented with the opportunity to intern at the nation’s largest social service agency, they headed to the Big Apple ready to do their part.
The New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA/DSS) was set up in September 1966 to provide temporary help to eligible individuals and families with social service and economic needs. This summer, Adam Malitz ’09 and Shannen Fish ’09 are working alongside some of the agency’s 16,000 employees providing for those in need.
Malitz is researching public policy pertaining to former prisoners in order to identify successful discharge-planning models that connect those returning to the community with available public resources and benefits.
“This internship has been a public policy major’s dream, Malitz says. “I use methods that I’ve learned during the school year to examine strategies and procedures that can make a difference in the real world.
Fish, an English and Media and Society major with a minor in Peer Education in Human Relations, is working under Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara Brancaccio in the Office of Public Information and Communications, writing and editing articles and brochures and attending meetings and other forums dealing with policies and procedures.
“Interning within this agency has been a truly rewarding experience, says Fish. “It is humbling to work alongside such altruistic individuals; I am incredibly grateful for this summer opportunity.
The internships have provided both students the chance to attend seminars on topics such as “Big City Government Policy and Politics and “Reforming NYC’s Public Schools. Their summer experience will culminate with a barbecue for New York City interns at Gracie Mansion, where they expect to meet New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Fish says: “Honing skills attained within the classroom while making a difference in the lives of others – there’s just nothing more fulfilling!