Larkin Street Youth Services
At The Crossroads
Claire Chen T’18
SF LGBT Center
Jessie Petrow-Cohen, Class of 2018
Maurice Dowell, Literature Major, Dance Minor, and AMI Certificate, Class of 2016
Since the summer before coming to Duke, I always knew I wanted to participate in a DukeEngage program. I checked the site every year, but could never picture myself engaging (hehe) in any of the existing programs. When the SF domestic program was introduced, I knew I’d found it (praise)! I’m so glad Janie and Becki created this program. The city and its vibrant arts, cultural, and LGBTTQQIIAA communities are without a doubt what drew me here. I think there is always a lot of work to be done abroad, but I’m learning that a lot of that work starts right here at home. It’s also pretty dope that this is DukeEngage: San Francisco’s inaugural year. It’s equal parts thrilling and terrifying to think of ourselves as the trial and error crew.
In all seriousness, I know I’ll inevitably learn a lot my non-profit and the makeup of its district. What gets me thinking the most, though, is the hope that I’ll be able to look back at these eight weeks and say that I learned something abut myself and my life experience in juxtaposition to a community I am completely foreign to. Hopefully I’m a groovier human on the other side.
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Fun Fact: My favorite number is 7 (not because it 8 9).
Hannah Hewitt, BA in Public Policy, Class of 2016
I chose to do DukeEngage San Francisco because I wanted to help youth that live on the streets build outstanding lives. I’ve also never been to San Francisco and I thought that it would be a great place to push myself out of my comfort zone and really grow as a person.
I hope to gain a meaningful experience by impacting the lives of the youth that ATC works with and discover what living an outstanding life really means for me.
Hometown: Longwood, FL
Fun Fact: I’ve been surfing since I was 8.
Ji-Ho Park, BS in Chemistry, Concentration in Pharmacology, Minor in German, Class of 2016
I chose DukeEngage San Francisco because of my interest in LGBTQ social justice issues, and the opportunity to work with homeless LGBTQ youth, something that means a lot to me personally. I hope to gain a better understanding of issues of homelessness in the U.S., especially in a city that has so quickly developed and is becoming more and more gentrified. I also hope to gain more exposure to how nonprofits operate in the U.S., and how I might be able to contribute moving forward.
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Fun Fact: I can speak 4 languages!
Kaitlyn Payne, Neuroscience B.S., Class of 2016
I was excited about this DukeEngage program for a number of reasons. I have been eager to get more involved in LGBTQ+ activism for some time now and am excited about the opportunity to work with youth my own age. I am also very interested in the mental health and substance abuse issues involved with homelessness.
I’m hoping to learn more about issues surrounding homelessness youth in San Francisco and around the country. I hope to have the opportunity to work with youth in the arts, especially in music to help them gain confidence, have fun, and have a creative outlet. Additionally, I’m hoping to learn more about the diverse cultures and experiences of youth in this country and reflect on my own experiences.
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Fun Fact: Everyone here makes fun of me for being a huge Women’s World Cup fan! Even though no one else seems to care, I try to watch every game I can. Go USA!
José Sandoval, Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health, Class of 2016
I am a rising senior at Duke University and originally from Los Angeles. As both an Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health major, I am interested in the intersection of science and health policy in respect to their impact on human health. The Duke Engage in San Francisco has provided me with the unique opportunity to personally work with and serve a population that I identify with and am passionate about: at-risk LGBT youth. By the end of this summer I hope to gain a better understanding of the needs homeless LGBT youth require and the impact of gentrification on low-income communities.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Fun Fact: I have two dogs that I love very much and enjoy playing volleyball.
I chose DukeEngage San Francisco first and foremost because of the focus on serving homeless youth. I’ve always had a passion for working with kids, and I saw that this program would allow me to target my service towards some of the most marginalized members of this population. Plus, who wouldn’t want to spend a summer in San Francisco?!
Above everything, I want to gain a new perspective on what being homeless entails and the realities of the issue in San Francisco and the broader United States. Along the way, I hope that I can contribute to my organization, At The Crossroads, in a meaningful way, and learn how to apply my work and education here to my future endeavors.
Stephanie Wu, BA in Visual Arts, BS in Biology, Class of 2016
After a service-learning trip gave me perspective on the homelessness situation in Charlotte, NC, I knew I wanted to do more with homeless populations. I am interested in arts activism, trauma studies, and how these two areas can intersect and inform my work with marginalized populations.
I hope to create sustainable programming to enhance the well-being of youth accessing Larkin Street’s services. I am excited to work with Maurice to kick-start long-term workshops and groups, and foster de-stigmatization of homelessness in the San Francisco community.
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Fun Fact: I used to be Zeus. Rawrr