John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Intern: Alieshka Cruz
This summer, I was given the opportunity to interview Alieshka (Ali) Cruz, a rising senior at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School and a fellow friend of mine. Cruz is a member of both the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program – an organization that offers pre-collegiates and undergraduates paid internships on UMass Boston’s campus – and the Urban Scholars Program.
Currently, Ali is interning with the Campus Kitchen Project, a national nonprofit organization that partners with on-campus dining to combat hunger in neighboring communities. Cruz’s internship allows her to interact with the community garden that is led by Project REACH. One major part of her job was the creation of a newsletter that depicted many of Project REACH’s student recipes and the crops that were being developed at the garden. The newsletter is also used to endorse Campus Kitchen to students, the public, and to clients.
Even though Ali aspires to become a psychologist, she is very enthusiastic about her internship. She said, “I do not plan on pursuing a career in this field, but if I get really passionate, then yes, maybe.” Cruz is also hoping to attend a post-education institution, and is pursuing enrollment in schools like: Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University.
Ali also attends workshops at the Boston University Agganis Arena as part of the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars curriculum. Her favorite part of these sessions is the speeches, and getting to learn more about the orators. She said, “I really enjoyed George Foreman III because what he said was really inspirational and it really opened my eyes. What I have learned during the John Hancock MLK Summer Sessions is that you need to be more politically aware: you have to be aware of the news and you need to be aware of the things that are happening around you, and you need to take a stand in your community.”
Ali is extremely honored to be apart of both the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars program and the Urban Scholars program. When the internship ends, she will be finishing up her senior year of high school to further initiate the move towards her bright future.