The BBA Summer Jobs Program is all about helping Boston public school students to discover and develop their future career paths. For many students who go into it with dreams of becoming lawyers, the program can be an illuminating look at the legal profession; but students from all backgrounds, and with many different dreams for their futures, stand to gain from the program – sometimes in surprising and unexpected ways.
Deluisa DePina came to the U.S. four years ago from Cape Verde and has been a student at Madison Park since. As a student at the vocational school, Deluisa has chosen a potential career path early on: she has been working in the nursing assistant program and learned about the medical profession firsthand at a young age.
But working in that field is a lot more than just understanding medicine and health. “There is a legal, regulatory side that we started to learn about, and I decided I wanted to learn more about the law in the BBA Summer Jobs Program,” says Deluisa, who has also considered pursuing a legal career.
So her placement at the Department of Public Health, a position funded by the Boston Bar Foundation, couldn’t have been more fitting. With her genuine interest and engagement with the subjects and cases that the DPH handles, Deluisa has shown herself a willing and capable intern.
“Deluisa is really helping us to cover some of our administrative duties,” said her supervisor, Office Manager Catrice Williams. “And she has a very sunny disposition. I have received so much positive feedback about her and her work – the attorneys in the office are absolutely floored by what she can do, since she takes initiative and is so thorough. Having Deluisa here is a bright spot in our office.”
And by being there, Deluisa also has the chance to learn not just about the legal profession as a whole, but how it and the medical and health fields intersect. “I do a little of everything in the office,” she explains, describing her tasks of entering guardianship files in the computer, delivering public records to the courts, creating indexes in the department’s library, and much more.
“If I do end up being a paralegal,” she added, “this will give me the background knowledge and expectations of an office that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.”
With plenty of time left to figure out her career path, Deluisa has a head start on valuable office experience through her Summer Jobs internship. “What a student can gain from a summer job like this depends on their career path. For Deluisa, who comes from a nursing program background, she’s learning more about the documentation we handle, the claims and complaints that are relevant to the medical profession, and the difference between a general legal career and a regulatory career,” Williams says.
“It’s important that students have the chance to see an atmosphere that is concerned with the wellbeing of the public,” she adds; and with her chosen paths of the law and public health ahead of her, Deluisa is sure to contribute to that public wellbeing one way or another.