First Boston, Now DC: My return to LHIP

Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Sophia Grande, and I am thrilled to be back with the Latino Heritage Internship Program for another exciting year. This summer, I’m a Digital Communications Intern for the WASO Office of Communications in Washington, D.C.. Before we get into what I’ll be up to this summer, let’s take it back one year.

 

Last summer, I was a digital youth engagement design intern for the National Parks of Boston, an experience that left a mark on my professional and personal growth. This year, however, I find myself closer to home as my internship primarily takes place remotely. Lucky for me, the Office of Communications (OCOMM) at the Department of Interior, where I may occasionally venture, is just a short 15-minute drive away from me.

The National Historical Park I was living at during my LHIP Internship in 2022.
The Education Youth Volunteer Engagement team I worked with in Boston.

Much has changed since last year. I recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communication and digital media. Being a Maryland native, my upbringing on the outskirts of DC played a role in my deep appreciation for the great outdoors. My Abuela instilled a love for local parks, arts, history, and education. As a child, my family and I loved exploring DC..’s museums and the surrounding local, state, and national parks. These experiences have shaped my passion for advocating for equal access to public lands, parks, and waters for all individuals.

 

During my internship in Boston last year, I created various digital stories and materials to engage with students, youth, and families from the City of Boston to reimagine the role of digital media and the importance of aligning with community needs and interests. Now, as I embrace my new position, I hope to make a similar impact on a national scale.

Some of the National Park Service offices in the Department of Interior.

Returning to LHIP this year was an easy decision for me. The experience and knowledge I gained last year have been invaluable, and it has encouraged me to continue making a difference. I believe that there is still much work to be done within our National Parks when it comes to representation. LHIP not only provides us with the opportunity to learn and grow, but it also empowers us to make a genuine impact within the parks by representing the Latine community.

 

While my work may primarily take place from the comfort of my home this summer, I hope to bring you all along on this journey. Together, we will explore Washington, D.C., and get the inside scoop on the inner workings of the National Park Service.

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