For three consecutive summers, Watson Fellows have their pick of coveted job placements in nonprofit agencies, business organizations and government service. Past fellows have interned at the Institute of International Education, Beth Israel Cancer Center and Save the Children, among other high profile organizations. Each student goes through a rigorous and highly competitive process to earn their award. Said Diane Machado, Director of the Office of Career Development and Internships at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, “These internships are not just about requirements and credits—they are about clarifying career goals, getting a taste of the world of work, gaining skills and knowledge and building valuable connections.”
Anusha Mehar, class of 2009, was selected in 2007, and was first student at the College ever to be chosen for this honor. She was awarded the Fellowship because of her impressive record of community service which included traveling to Ayutthaya, Thailand in 2006, where she taught English to village schoolchildren from kindergarten to grade six. Closer to home, she worked for the organization United for Peace and Justice in Washington, D.C. where she organized appointments to meet with US Senators and representatives and was involved in the planning process of the organization’s 2005 March on Washington. She has also volunteered with her local Parish to become a part of P.O.T.S (Part of the Solution), an organization that prepares and distributes food to the homeless and low-income families.
Anusha is a double major in history and education and is considering a future in journalism. A determined young woman, she took on a double-course curriculum in high school in order to graduate early because she felt, “the institution was no longer fulfilling their promise to education.”
Her first summer as a Watson fellow in 2007, Anusha worked at the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience, a network of historic sites specifically dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing contemporary legacies. In 2008, her second Watson summer, she interned with the Acumen Fund, working towards the goal of solving global poverty.
In 2008, Sasha Paulino, class of 2010, followed in the footsteps of Anusha, becoming the second Mount student to be chosen as a Watson Fellow. Sasha’s resume is also impressive. In 2007 she taught art in Scarsdale, New York for the Jewish Community Center’s enrichment program for autistic children. Her work there helped children improve their fine motor skills and provided parents with cherished keepsakes of their child’s artwork.
A native of the Bronx, she interned at Jacobi Medical Center’s “Bronx Youth as Partners in Community-Based Participatory Research” and has volunteered at the YMCA of Greater New York as a Youth Counselor. A gifted artist, singer, dancer and thespian, she is a graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts. She is pursuing a double major in history and education and is interested in a career as an educator.
Sasha is spending her first Watson summer at the New York Historical Society. By her account, “Becoming a Watson Fellow…demonstrates the importance of faith and persistence. It opens up a world of opportunities and experiences for achieving success.”
These two remarkable young people, Anusha Mehar and Sasha Paulino, have been given the opportunity to explore service and leadership careers utilizing some of the most influential organizations in New York City through the Watson Fellowship program. Through them, we can all learn goodness, discipline and knowledge.