Sundaes for service


A woman in a bright pink Greater Chicago Food Depository T-shirt ran up to greet David Hays. The University Community Service Center (UCSC)'s assistant director was standing with a group of students outside Margie’s Candies in Bucktown, waiting for a table. “Are you here for the intern get-together?” Hays asked. She wasn't: though Esther Del Valle, AB’05, is a Summer Links alumna, she and her family just happened to be at the ice cream shop last Tuesday night.

Summer Links is an 11-week paid internship program run by UCSC that places students in nonprofit and public-sector organizations throughout the city. It also has a social component: the program fosters relationships and discussion between current and former interns—with the help of amenities like ice cream, which, Hays says, “has been an integral part of Summer Links” during the eight years he's worked with the program, now 11 years old.

When a table opened up, Del Valle joined the Summer Linkers and introductions were made. “You’re my girl now,” Dana Kroop, AB’07, exclaimed upon discovering that they had both had Summer Links placements at Cook County hospital. “Trauma!” they cheered, referring to the hospital ward they worked in, and exchanged a fist bump across the table. Others included Annie Roberts, AB’06, who helped manage a mortgage fund at the Illinois Facilities Fund and now works at the Boston Consulting Group; Erin Franzinger, ’09, who interned previously with the Lakeside Community Development Corporation and is now a Summer Links coordinator; Hannah McConnaughay, AB'08, who worked at the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture; and Hannah Snyder, ’10, whose internship this summer is at World Relief.

“Basically I spend all of my time at public aid and the doctor’s office,” Snyder said of her internship experience. Working for case managers and employment counselors helping refugees resettle, she estimates the cases she's seen at 45 percent Iraqi, 35 percent Burmese, and the rest a mix of Congolese, Somali, and others—prompting a discussion over turtle sundaes about the patterns of immigrant and refugee influx to the United States.

Shira Tevah, '09

Photos: From left to right: Dana Kroop, AB'07, joins David Hays and Esther Del Valle, AB'05, at Margie's; Hannah Snyder, '10, Erin Franzinger, '09, center, and Hannah McConnaughay, AB'08, settle the tab.

July 28, 2008