Diego Melo—2010 Fellow
My project was called “Democratic Learning and Social Capital Building at Neighborhood House” and it essentially summarizes the work I did last summer. I worked in the West Side of Saint Paul, (a place full of diverse communities of various racial and ethnic backgrounds) and in collaboration with Neighborhood House (a century-old non-profit organization dedicated to community development). My job consisted of two major tasks: one was to work with adult Latino communities in a group seeking to spread information about STIs, HIV/AIDS prevention and overall sexual education, and the other was to conduct needs-assessment interviews with the students of the Civics Program for immigrants and refugees. I enjoyed every second of my work, made a ton of friends and developed invaluable skills –office related and interpersonal. I believe I helped build stronger social capital and contributed to the ethos of democratic learning at Neighborhood House.