Samsung Summer Interns Unite to Tackle the Climate Crisis Through Community Service
Every summer, college and university students from every corner of the U.S. join Samsung Electronics America for an 10-week long internship program. The program offers these young people the chance to push the boundaries of innovation, sharpen their workplace skills, gain first-hand experience, and engage in community service.
As part of the 2023 summer internship program, interns from our offices in Ridgefield Park, NJ; Plano, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Mountain View, CA came together for our annual Intern Day of Service. Much like our Samsung Gives Day of Service, the Intern Day of Service exemplifies Samsung’s commitment to fostering community engagement by actively encouraging our people to participate in projects that uplift communities and create positive social impact.
Samsung collaborated with nonprofit organizations nationwide focused on environmental sustainability for this year’s Intern Day of Service. The participants participated in a variety of activities, including planting, harvesting, invasive species removal, and farming chores. Here’s what our interns had to say about contributing their time and effort towards creating a healthier, greener, and more equitable future…
1. Which nonprofit did you support and what inspired you to use your time for service?
We spent the day at City Green, an urban farm and garden nonprofit organization in Clifton, NJ. I believe it is always important to give back to the environment and planet as a whole. With increasing global warming and unexpected climates changes, it is necessary for us to contribute to a fresh and healthy surrounding. This opportunity was a great initiative by Samsung that give us the chance to be part of such impactful service activities.
2. Can you share your experience participating in the service activity? What impact do you believe your efforts had on the environment or the community?
I had an awesome experience working at the farm with fresh scents of sunflowers and greenery blooming all around us! At the beginning, we received a tour of the farm, where we saw goats and I met my new friend, Luna – the goose who was a guardian to all the chickens at the farm! Our activity mainly focused on removing unwanted weeds from the plants and collecting them on the side before replenishing the soil with more fertilizer. We all felt proud to do our part to enhance the natural beauty around us.
3. How do you see the connection between service and addressing the climate crisis? In what ways do you believe volunteer efforts can make a tangible difference and contribute to combating climate change?
We had a chance to explore the various farm tactics used daily and the work became fun and productive at the same time. In fact, I even educated my siblings after the program about the importance of volunteering with such organizations to help safeguard the environment. By immobilizing some of the factors contributing to climate change, creating awareness for these issues and enhancing biodiversity, we can advocate for the Earth. I’m thankful to Samsung for such an amazing opportunity and am grateful to be part of this amazing program!
1. Can you tell me about your experience serving with Bonton Farms? What motivated you to get involved, and what have you gained from your service activities?
Serving at Bonton Farms not only helped us to see more of the local community, but also allowed us to make an impact on issues facing the surrounding area. We learned that Bonton Farms is situated in the South Dallas community of Bonton, an area that faces generational poverty, crime, and is classified by the USDA as a food desert. We helped out on the farm pulling weeds, which on the surface level seems like it just serves to grow food, but plays into the farm’s mission to restore lives, create jobs and ignite hope in the Bonton community.
Pulling weeds in the hot Texas sun for only a few hours, we gained a huge level of respect for the community leaders that work daily on the farm; it was impactful for us to learn their life stories and talk with them about the history of the Bonton Farm project.
2. How does the service activity you participated in contribute to environmental sustainability?
Bonton Farms is a sustainable urban farm. We were able to see just a glimpse of the complex process that goes into this farm, following the directions of the experts who guided us. Our task for the day was pulling weeds – a lot of weeds! By pulling these by hand rather than using chemical weed killer, we were able to keep their crops healthy in a sustainable fashion. The weeds we pulled were then fed to animals on the farm, making the whole process as sustainable as possible. Our participation on the farm was just part of a day’s work, but it contributes to the larger movement of sustainable farming.
3. In your view, how does the climate crisis impact our communities and the environment? And how do you think service can be a powerful tool in addressing these challenges?
From extreme weather to water scarcity, local communities are already suffering from the effects of the climate crisis. Young people like myself are scared of what the future may look like when we are older, many of us having personally experienced the effects of climate change. Volunteerism is one of many tools that works toward creating a healthier planet, but it must be partnered with the core value of sustainability within individuals and organizations. Our participation at Bonton Farms certainly made an impact, but it more importantly reflects the deeper value of sustainability at Samsung, which has huge environmental implications given the size and power of our organization. With continued community involvement and corporate values based in sustainability, organizations like Samsung can do their part in combatting the climate crisis and shaping a cleaner future.
1. Can you share your experience serving with Our City Forest?
Our City Forest is a non-profit organization that provides free trees to help transform the community in response to climate change. At the event, we got a short tour of the site and started working on building a demo garden. From shoveling grounds to designing the sidewalk, the Intern Day of Service event was truly a unique experience for me. The Mountain View interns had excellent teamwork, especially with dividing and conquering the work. The UI/UX Intern Leilah took care of designing the stepping stone path, while the Software Engineering interns (Frederic, Leisheng, and I) measured dimensions, and rearranged the curbs according to the sketch.
2. How did your involvement with them contribute to addressing the climate crisis, and what impact do you believe your service efforts had?
The purpose of a demo garden is to teach and inspire others about how certain environmental issues can be solved with gardening or landscaping. We hope that the demo garden we built helps to promote more residents to plant trees that are drought-tolerant in their homes, schools, and parks.
3. From your perspective, how does service play a role in addressing the climate crisis on a larger scale?
I believe that service has a ripple effect in addressing the climate crisis because it invokes others to help out as well. Since climate crisis is such a global issue, every little bit counts!