Winners of the 2009-2010 ISTS/Neukom Internships were:
OpenHatch.org, is a site for proponents of free/open source software to find help for their own projects or to lend help to others. Parker Phinney spent the Winter 2010 term in Philadelphia, PA., helping the then two-person team begin growing the site and the services offered to users. Much of his time was spent programming for registered users seeking help but he also found time to work on building an interactive map to help users find other open-sourcers near them. The map has been so successful that it has become the center of a large portion of the site’s functionality; just 614 users were registered when Parker interned but that number has since grown to 2,933.
One Laptop Per Child is an international organization that has developed cheap laptops designed for use by children in developing countries. Uruguay has made a larger commitment to the program than any other country. In December, 2009, the government finished distributing almost 400,000 laptops to every public primary school student and teacher in the country. The tasks of teaching students and teachers how to use the laptops, developing ways to integrate them into the classrooms, and troubleshooting largely fall to volunteers; ISTS/Neukom Intern Emma Smithayer was one of those volunteers. She spent the Spring 2010 term working for Desde Infancia (Blogging Since Infancy), helping run blogging workshops for children across the country showing kids how to use blogs and other social media tools. She also worked with Flor de Ceibo, based at the University of the Republic, Uruguay’s largest university. Through this program, Emma assisted students and teachers in classrooms to better utilize the laptops and organized events to help parents become users as well.
International peer-to-peer microcredit lending platforms connect globally conscious individuals with people in need in developing countries. They allow small, local microfinance organizations to access funds otherwise unavailable to them but their interest rates are high., anywhere from 37-98%. In Kenya, a local group founded zidisha (Swahilli for “expand”).org that is attempting to eliminate the middle-man and the high rates. Lauren Rosenbaum spent the Summer 2010 term in Kenya working as a “cultural ambassador,” meeting regularly with current borrowers, orienting new borrowers to the website and loan process, and reaching out to community members who could benefit from joining Zidisha. She also coordinated communication among Zidisha’s partner communities and potential new lenders to improve and expand the current network.
Last Updated: 6/4/12