Katelyn Tsukada '12
Law of Nature Foundation, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Bastis Family BPIP Internship Fund
I had an internship with an environmental non-profit called Law of Nature Foundation (LNF) located in the Philippines. I traveled extensively through the country learning about the variety of projects LNF was funding. I participated in the set up of a marine protected area for coral restoration and spoke on local radio shows to promote the "Road Revolution" event focused on decreasing urban traffic and air pollution. Under the guidance of prominent environmental law, Atty. Oposa, I also researched environmental economic case studies for his upcoming publication.
What is the most interesting or important thing you took from your Internship this summer?
One of my most valuable experiences was learning how to scuba dive in the central region of the Philippines. By conquering my fears of swimming 60 feet under the water, I witnessed the incredible biodiversity of tropical fish and coral reefs. The Philippines' marine life suffers from illegal practices like overfishing and dynamite fishing. I had heard of the devastating consequences but nothing compared to seeing the beauty and and desolation first hand. As a scuba diver, I gained a deeper appreciation for life under the sea.
How did the BPIP Fund help make your experience possible?
BPIP gave me the chance to travel halfway across the globe! Without BPIP, I could not have gone to the Philippines or been able to afford an unpaid internship working with dedicated advocates for environmental protection.
Why would you recommend the BPIP Fund?
BPIP gave me an incredible summer experience that changed the way I look at the world. Personally, I think every student should try to take advantage of this opportunity while at Bucknell. Many organizations do not have paid internships and BPIP allows students to explore all possible summer positions. Because of BPIP, I have met people and worked on projects that I did not think would be possible as a college student. My experience this summer has convinced me to become an environmental lawyer and I can't give enough credit to BPIP for helping me to find my future path.
Living outside of the United States for 11 weeks gave me a new appreciation for other cultures and ideals. I think an internship abroad is the perfect opportunity to learn more about a future job field while exploring the differences and similarities from one's home country to a foreign land. As an environmental studies major, we are taught that environmental problems are global problems. My experiences in subsistence fishing communities and riding the streets of polluted Manila reinforced this thought and gave me a greater determination to positively impact the world around me.