|McNair Scholars Program|
I'm sad to say that this will be my last post for this summer internship project. It's difficult to put into words how much this summer experience has meant to me, but I'll try. I've learned so much on so many levels. Whenever I think of Camden, NJ I will think of a city in different phases. It has certainly been a city plagued by much of the same misfortune that many other formerly industrial cities have experienced in the United States during the second half of this century. However, this is only the frame of the full portrait that is Camden. In analyzing its evolving demographic, political culture, and key events, Camden becomes a city with a specific character. On a micro level, the individuals that I interviewed and those I encountered in Camden have left an impression upon me of perseverance and progress amid tragedy. The story of the "Puerto Rican Riots" provides us with lessons regarding local government and community communication, the ills of police brutality, and the importance of fair representation for minorities. I will not forget Camden. I intend on studying it and other places with similar issues in the sake of action and progress.
|Philadelphia from side of Camden|
As much as the issues in Camden left an impact on me, the experience of researching was the most enjoyable part of this internship. Waking up and heading to the archives or library and spending the day walking through Camden in search of what was hidden, was spectacular. It wasn't always easy but it was certainly worthwhile. It was the thrill of pooling resources together in an attempt to ultimately create vital knowledge that made the internship significant. I had the opportunity to sharpen my researching skills and increase my historical IQ which will both serve me well in my future researching endeavors. Mostly, this research helped me comprehend the importance of understanding history as a guide to action. Decisions are fueled by what is known and understanding the past is essential in this.
In addition to my loved ones who are my perpetual motor, a constant source of support during this internship came from my mentor Dr. Michelle Nickerson. She has truly become my role model and I can only hope to emulate the sort of dedicated historian and person she is. She's taught me what it means to dig deep into an issue to find truth and the significance of it. The directors and members of the McNair Scholar's program have also been central in motivating me to higher feats. The program has sparked an ambition in me that will continue to burn until I've achieved my audacious goals. Lastly, thank you all for taking the time out to read this undergrad's work. I hope you've enjoyed my posts and learned a couple things along the way.