"My first experience of
My second day in New Orleans, I decided to take the streetcar from downtown out to Mid-city to be sure that I’d be able to find the office for my first day of work. It was the first time I’d taken the streetcar, and, at least on the Canal St. line in the middle of the day, the streetcar is mostly patronized by the poorer residents of New Orleans, many of whom are black and elderly and some of whom probably sleep in the tents that we passed by on the street car, under the overpass of the highway that crosses Canal. Even though Canal runs right into the heart of the city, many, perhaps half, of the businesses along it have not come back. Where they have, it’s in a checkboard fashion, with a shiny new pancake restaurant right alongside the purple house with the tower-room that’s collapsing into the street. Downtown, the street smelled like urine. It was an unfamiliar world.
As I was waiting for the streetcar on my return trip a woman I didn’t know came over and started talking. She was probably over 50, black, had grown up in
, then left to serve in the army and later care for her mother, who had died that past spring. She hadn’t lived in
at the time of the hurricane, but she remembered the city from her childhood when she used to ride the streetcar all the way down the line and then back. The city is different now, she told me – just look at downtown. “Different in a good way?” I asked. “No, I don’t say that. It’s different though.” When we got on the streetcar she pointed out the people living under the bridge – “disgusting.” As I was getting off the streetcar, she reached into her bag and pulled out a pen decorated with ribbons and topped with a red fabric rose. “This is for you -- I make these for people,” she said. Here, welcome to
“At the end of the year party, the students in the program attended a party in
. It was a great experience, very enjoyable. It also showed the camaraderie that we in the program had built over the course of the summer. This was probably the best summer I’ve ever had so I’m very grateful for Yale offering it.”
“This job was really really cool, and it should definitely be offered again.
was SOOO much fun!! And so easy to maneuver (particularly with cars) because of the relaxed atmosphere. I higgghhhly recommend it.”
“I really enjoyed volunteering at the school groundbreaking, because it was a great example of the local government, community groups, and non-profits working together. Local politicians and the Broadmoor Neighborhood Improvement Association had worked together to rebuild a school to high environmental standards with the help of Global Green, so it was interesting to see how the internship experiences of Bulldogs from three different employers (Stacy Head, BNIA, and Global Green) intersected.”
"I would say that the best part about the program is the city of New Orleans.
I gained incredible experiential knowledge through my internship and have gotten a clearer idea of what I want my life to be, both professionally and personally.""New
Orleans is a city where everyone should live for at least a couple of months, especially in the wake of Katrina. In my experience, no other city in the United States can match New Orleans's cultural, historical, and musical vitality.""
The program had the perfect balance of freedom and structure, and the organized outings/events were always a blast. I learned that I might want to live here one day.""
I've never participated in any of the other Bulldogs programs, but I feel confident saying that BITBE is among, if not the best.""My
work was integral in helping the school expand by five grade levels over the summer. I was in charge of establishing play spaces for the incoming children on a temporary modular site that was initially void of any such areas. Through grant-writing and communication with contractors and the school board, I have worked to establish a sodded area for physical education classes, a shaded mulch area for a swing set, and a paved area for basketball and other games.""
The work I do on a daily basis has a real and substantive effect on people's lives everyday.""
The fates of dozens of individuals were partially in my hands. My effort and ability significantly affected the futures of these people and their families. It's a duty and opportunity that not many people my age are given."