While planning a summer cohort program in spring 2020, the Penn State Center Philadelphia pivoted to create a virtual experience to support students in reflecting on the significance and magnitude of living through a global pandemic.
The new cohort experience was anchored in remote internships that addressed various impacts of COVID-19 in the hardest hit region of Pennsylvania. Students addressed a multitude of topics including:
- best practices in organizing and resistance among immigrant, essential, and gig workers to shifting labor conditions
- rising food insecurity and restaurant industry innovations in advancing the public good
- advocating for public education in city and state budgets that are veering toward austerity approaches
- assisting public school educators in creating innovative online content regarding urban food systems
- participating in public health responses to the virus by foregrounding and connecting Philadelphia residents with resources that address the social determinants of health