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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.

Topaz Mukulu

Economics Major
Refugee Protection: Behind the Scenes of a Non-Profit
How do human rights organizations respond to a policy that halts and reverses their efforts? This summer, I interned at RefugePoint, an NGO that identifies and protects the world’s most at-risk refugees.
Working from the headquarters in Cambridge, MA, I conducted refugee-related research and collected testimonials from former clients of the organization. As the sole intern, I was entrusted with a broad range of projects that allowed me to collaborate with employees across departments and countries as far out as Iraq and Kenya. In drafting reports, managing the donor database and translating interview scripts, I developed a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which small, non-direct service organizations implement broader structural changes. From learning about the intersection of policy and politics and its impact on refugee livelihoods, I was able to discover the implications of common misconceptions. This internship validated my career goals of working in the international human rights field.