Making the most of an unexpected summer

While this summer was not the one any of us expected at the start of 2020, Princetonians have used persistence and ingenuity to make the most of it – all while staying mindful of the public health practices necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here are some examples:  

Virtual Internships: The University helped students pivot from their original plans to a wide variety of internships that are 100% digital. With assistance from Princeton’s vast alumni network, students have been able to participate in opportunities that spanned academic disciplines and service programs.  

Princeton Summer Journalism Program: Thirty-seven students from 20 U.S. states participated in the 2020 Princeton Summer Journalism Program, which was held virtually this year.  

Princeton University’s Materials Academy: The academy partnered with Mercer County Community College and Upward Bound, MCCC’s educational program for Trenton high school students, to teach students about developing their own apps.  

Summer Food and Nutrition Program: In collaboration with the Princeton Public Schools and three area nonprofits, Princeton University’s Summer Food and Nutrition Program has provided meals for local at-risk families, children and individuals throughout Mercer County. The program ran for six weeks, from July 7 through Aug. 16. 

Princeton University Preparatory ProgramPUPP kicked off its 20th year in June. The seven-week program provides comprehensive college preparation to low-income, high-achieving students from five Mercer County high schools. Students are selected to become PUPP scholars through a competitive admissions process during ninth grade, and they participate in the program through high school graduation and their transition to college. 

Virtual events: Like so many other aspects of life, events at Princeton went virtual amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Such events included a panel on “Race in the COVID Era: What America’s History of Racism and Xenophobia Means for Today;” a conversation on the power of mentorship featuring Class of 2020 Valedictorian Nicholas Johnson; and a live edition of the “We Roar” podcast featuring Céline Gounder, M.D., Class of 1997, an infectious diseases specialist.  

Mentorship through basketball: Since the beginning of this summer, rising senior Jared Young and a group of friends have been mentoring kids in the York community through basketball. The group created a nonprofit called the See More Good Foundation. In addition to weekly basketball camps, the organization holds lessons about financial literacy.  

Keep reading for some of these and more stories on Tigers creating their own silver linings.  

Stay safe and healthy. 

Michael Hotchkiss, Ayana Gibbs, Jess Fasano, and Ben Chang