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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
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Friday, October 20 • 4:45pm - 5:40pm
The Power of Storytelling: Writing as Social Change

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Storytelling is a powerful tool for social change. The ability to tell the story of an individual or group is to acknowledge their human experience. Through our respective internships at magazines, newspapers, and nonprofit organizations, we used creative blogs, anthologies of student writing, strategic impact narratives, and news articles to promote interfaith political organizing, arts education, training for new social impact leaders, and community connections. The ultimate goal of our storytelling was to mobilize social action so that we can reduce the inequalities and injustices that occur in our world. We worked all across the country in four organizations with very different missions, but we all learned to use the writing and story-crafting skills we have gained at Mount Holyoke to impact the world around us.


Elizabeth Young

Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English

avatar for Wendy  Chen

Wendy Chen

Stories of Youth Leadership: Writing for Global Development and Social Justice, Five College Film and Sociology Major
I was the Director of Storytelling's intern at the Millennium Campus Network (MCN), a nonprofit organization in Boston, MA, this summer. MCN is dedicated to training a new generation of ethical, effective, and engaged social impact leaders in the global development sector. As an intern... Read More →
avatar for Sheila  McIntosh

Sheila McIntosh

Amplifying Young Voices: Working in Nonprofit Publications, English Major
I spent this summer as a Publications Intern at 826CHI, a chapter of a national nonprofit that provides free creative writing programs to students. My role was to transform manuscripts of student writing, from sci-fi plays to political poems, into professionally-published books. I... Read More →
avatar for Sarah  Olsen

Sarah Olsen

The Power of Storytelling: Journalism, English and Religion Major
I spent this summer as a newspaper intern at The La Grande Observer in La Grande, Oregon. At the newspaper I worked with journalists and photographers to report on news in Wallowa and Union county. I managed the newspaper’s web site and social media, attended local events and interviewed... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 4:45pm - 5:40pm EDT
Clapp 306