Camila Guayasamin ’24 may have stayed close-to-home for her summer internship, but she still gained national perspectives along the way.
As one of five Bonner Scholars selected for the National Summer Intern program at the Corella & Bertram Bonner Foundation in Princeton, Guayasamin worked alongside fellow scholars from Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio.
During the 10-week internship, these young leaders shared their Bonner Program experience by developing new resources and strategies for the national network of over 75 colleges and universities.
Guayasamin’s contributions included planning and organizing the Bonner Program’s annual national summer leadership institute, which was held at TCNJ in June and drew nearly 300 attendees. She also worked on establishing partnerships between Bonner and organizations and graduate schools around the country, creating a video as part of that project.
The full-time internship provided a stipend and an opportunity to gain experience in program development, research, and communications.
At TCNJ, Guayasamin participates in the Bonner Scholars Program which provides financial aid in exchange for community service. As a Bonner Scholar, she is an instructor and coordinator of the High School Equivalency program at El Centro de Recursos para Familias of Catholic Charities in Trenton. She also has served as a tutor and mentor for middle school at-risk students in the city.
“TCNJ and the Bonner Program are a family that I feel privileged to be a part of,” Guayasamin says. “As I was ending my internship, I unfortunately got COVID-19. It was frustrating and frightening to experience this while living independently and also working on developing the video.”
Despite the unforeseen circumstances, she was able to recuperate fully and finish her project thanks to support from TCNJ’s Bonner and the Bonner Foundation staff.
“I felt supported and connected to a family away from home,” she says, offering a special shout-out to Samuel Kanig, TCNJ’s Bonner Community Scholars coordinator, for delivering groceries and toiletries when she needed them. “This experience would have hindered my ability to successfully finish my internship but thanks to the support from TCNJ and my experiences with handling difficult situations, I thrived.”
Born and raised in Ecuador before settling in Perth Amboy, Guayasamin is majoring in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, with a minor in Italian. Going forward, she hopes to pursue other experiences in the world of nonprofits and public policy.
Learn more about the Corella & Bertram Bonner Foundation at bonner.org.
— Patricia Alex