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Duke Engage Interns Have Arrived!

Sam Kotz just finished his freshman year at Duke University. He is spending his summer working with the Community Engagement team and getting to explore Seattle for the first time.

"Living and working in Seattle has been an amazing experience. The city is welcoming, beautiful and expansive. Exploring Seattle’s various districts has opened my eyes to the disparities in culture both between Seattle and other cities, as well as within the city itself.

This past week, week three of our eight-week adventure, was filled with exploration and appreciation. I spent the majority of my time with my community partner, Northwest Harvest. Northwest Harvest is a massive non-profit organization which works to distribute food, always free of charge, to food banks and meal programs all over the state of Washington. Their core values dictate that no one must prove their need for food, and everyone is welcome. This is reflected in their mission statement, which is to “provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger”.

Within this organization, I am working with the Community Engagement team to map out the history of Northwest Harvest and hunger in Seattle from the beginnings of the organization. Northwest Harvest has accumulated thousands of photos, publications and videos of its past that have yet to be catalogued. I have been going through these documents and examining their contents. Northwest Harvest’s 50th anniversary is coming up, and they are hoping to use these documents in this celebration. I’ve had an awesome experience with their welcoming and friendly team, and I’m excited for the rest of the summer.

We also spent some time this week exploring the city and having some fun. This weekend, for example, we checked out the Capitol Hill district of the city, went to the Polish Festival at the Seattle Center, volunteered at Marra Farm, and watched a Seattle Mariners game. At Marra Farm we worked to extend the beds where seeds could be planted in the future, and learned about food insecurity.

Seeing Seattle has been an absolute pleasure so far, and I’m beyond excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store."

Be sure to check back for more updates on the interns experiences in Seattle!

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