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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.
avatar for Ariya Lawson

Ariya Lawson

Psychology and Education Major
New Perspectives on a Flawed System
This summer, I worked in D.C. with a nonprofit organization, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). DFER works at the local level to engage with elected officials to encourage conversation and champion reform projects that serve the public school students of those communities. Though I grew up in the District, I never truly grasped the disparity of racial identity and socioeconomic status of the eight wards and its resulting achievement gap. I learned about the work that goes into not only communicating with elected officials, but also engaging with prospective council candidates, partnering with advocacy organizations that employ parents and educators, and stepping up in the conversation about reform and restructure. Since my return to campus, I have enrolled in classes that not only serve to inform me about educational and political strategies, but also allow me to be mindful about education as a structure that has the power to dictate the future.