Northeastern University

Hannah Webb - Class of 2011

Human Services and International Affairs

Why did you choose this major, and does/did it seem like the right major for you? Why?

I chose to be a Human Services and International Affairs dual major because it combines my passions for helping people and learning about the world and other cultures. It has been a great fit. I like that my human services classes are very practical and teach me important skills, while my international affairs classes provide a macro-scale view on social issues, politics and history.

Why did you choose NU? Was/is this the right school for you?

I chose Northeastern for several reasons. I love that it is located in the center of Boston, with so much to do, yet it also has a campus and a community feel. Academically, Northeastern was appealing because it offers human services, which is not a common program; for its international mindset; and for its variety of experiential education opportunities. I also chose Northeastern for its co-op program. I liked that co-op would allow me to explore career paths and gain experience prior to graduation, which I think provides a wonderful advantage. I am very happy at Northeastern.

How many co-ops have you completed?

Two

Can you list the companies and give a quick synopsis of what you did?

During my first co-op, I was the Assistant Manager of the Food Pantry at Rosie's Place and an Intern with Project Have Hope.

Rosie's Place is a women's homeless shelter. At my position at Rosie's Place, I was able to learn about the numerous issues that face Boston's homeless population. I had the opportunity to practice my communication skills and problem solving skills on a daily basis. The food pantry is fast-paced, and, as one person told me on my first day, "we see every type of person you could imagine." It was a very engaging position, and I now feel like I can take on any type of work in the human services field.

Project Have Hope is a non-profit working to improve the lives of women and their children in the Acholi Quarter of Northern Uganda. I organized and implemented various projects, including a Boston-wide shoe drive; marketing for the paper beads that the women made; and designing a domestic violence assessment. The highlight of my first co-op experience was, without a doubt, the time I spent in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda with Project Have Hope. Traveling to Uganda had been my dream for two years, and it is still hard to believe that it really came true. I was able to implement workshops and film a short documentary about the refugees' lives during my nine day stay. I learned so much about the situation in Northern Uganda and the Acholi culture firsthand, and I was able to make life-long connections there. I hope to return to Uganda after I graduate.

My second co-op was as an Intern at Boston Medical Center with the Grow Clinic and Children's HealthWatch. I acted as a liason between clinicians and patient families, coordinated activities in the pediatric specialty clinic waiting room, and performed administrative work for the Grow Clinic. This position taught me a lot about working in the medical field, the causes and effects of malnourishment in children, and the social work field. I also conducted interviews in the pediatric emergency room, and created and distributed outreach documents on local resources such as food, housing and childcare to patients' families for Children's HealthWatch. The highlight of this position was the day that I completed editing and updating our entire outreach library. I felt that I learned so much about the social resources in the Boston area and improved our families' access to this important information.

Did you have any other "learning from outside of the classroom" (service learning, student leadership, study abroad, research, or volunteering) that also enriched your time here?

Yes - I volunteered as a Jumpstart corps member during my freshman year through a service-learning program. I worked one on one with two preschoolers, Keimani and Eyana, at Dimock Preschool. My team implemented sessions twice a week to improve the children's social and literacy skills. I also assisted Keimani and Eyana's teachers in the classroom weekly. By the end of the year, Keimani had become more verbal and social; and Eyana was better able to control her emotions and had developed a love for reading. It was a very rewarding experience.

I also served for two years on the executive board of Invisible Children, a student group dedicated to raising awareness of and funds for the crisis in Northern Uganda. As the fundraising manager, I planned monthly fundraisers to rebuild Atanga Secondary School. I also helped to found Uganda Peace Week and Human Rights Week and had the opportunity to lobby for the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act in Washington, DC. Invisible Children has been very important to me during my time at Northeastern.

Questions Answered as of 06/18/2010

Hannah was also spotlighted in an article in the NU Alumni magazine.