Tag Archives: RPCV

Student Spotlight: Liz Parr at Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation

Elizabeth Parr

Liz Parr (IPED 2017) is a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow Intern at Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC). FBHC is a nonprofit community organization that provides safe and affordable housing to over 3,000 low- to moderate-income families in the Bronx. Currently, it owns and manages close to 100 apartment buildings.

Liz works in the Department of Construction and Development of FBHC. She assists the department with writing grants and project proposals, tracks internal budget changes, and creates progress reports on FBHC’s current construction projects in various stages of development and completion. “These projects are huge. For example, the project I’ve worked on the most is part of a larger Fordham Bedford community project that will ultimately consist of three residential buildings that will provide housing to seniors,” she adds.

Liz shares that she likes her internship a lot. “Not only does FBHC provide affordable housing, but it also strives to offer an increased quality of life for its residents, which is something I am proud to be part of,” she says.

The internship with FBHC is part of the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship offered to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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Student Spotlight: Andrew Wilhelm and Zach Thompson at the Fordham Road Business Improvement District


Andrew Wilhelm.jpg

Andrew Wilhelm (IPED 2017) and Zach Thompson (IPED 2017) currently serve as Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow interns at the Fordham Road Business Improvement District (Fordham Road BID). Fordham Road BID is a nonprofit organization primarily consisting of local retailers dedicated to promoting economic development and improving the quality of life along Fordham Road, a major retail street serving various immigrant and low-income communities in the Bronx.

As an intern, Andrew is responsible for engaging with businesses and other local organizations to seek their support and sponsorship for Fordham Road BID events. He also liaises with relevant stakeholders to obtain permits for events, attends meetings, and performs various administrative duties. Currently, he is also working with Department of Transportation to have some new benches installed along Fordham Road.

Zach Thompson.jpg

Meanwhile, Zach shares that his favorite part of interning at Fordham BID is the variety of the work he does, which keeps the day unpredictable. Within a few weeks, he has contributed to Fordham Road BID’s annual report, has begun planning themes and logistics for events throughout spring and summer, and has liaised with local businesses and the American Cancer Society on an upcoming promotion. Later in the year, Zach will be working on the newly reconstructed Fordham Plaza, which should be an exciting opportunity to bring even more life to the Bronx.

Last December, Andrew and Zach also helped in the planning and preparation of “Sparkling The Heart of Fordham,” Fordham Road BID’s annual holiday celebration and biggest event. During the event, there was gift-giving to local children, a tree-lighting ceremony, and performances all throughout the night.

“On the day of the event, it was great to see everyone’s hard work pay off when hundreds of people attended the event and had a great time. It was especially fun for me to see how excited people were about the raffle prizes I obtained by endlessly calling sports teams, theaters, and museums,” Andrew shares.

“This was the first big project I had the opportunity to work on for Fordham Road BID, and seeing the happiness and joy of the children and families who were at the event was a great experience,” Zach adds.

The internship with Fordham BID is part of the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowships offered to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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Student Spotlight: Adam Pearlman at the University Neighborhood Housing Program

Adam Feature

Adam Pearlman (IPED 2017) is a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow Intern at the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) in the Bronx. UNHP is a community-based non-profit organization that has worked for over 30 years to create and preserve affordable housing and bring resources to the northwest Bronx.  Their projects typically focus on low-income and homeless demographics. Since 2006, 12 Fordham IPED Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows have been hosted at UNHP.

As an intern, Adam performs studies and surveys and analyzes data in various areas such as housing policy, affordable water policy, and energy conservation, among others. Currently, he is focusing on an assessment of daycare provider subsidies that allow low-income working parents to afford childcare so they can maintain full-time employment. His assessment shows that daycare subsidies, which have been stagnant for over a decade, do not cover the costs of providing the service. Together with colleagues at UNHP, he facilitates dialogue between stakeholders to address issues, share best practices, and develop solutions.

In addition to his work on daycare subsidies, Adam helps in the Free Tax Preparation Program which assists low-income Bronx residents in preparing their taxes and contributes to the updating of databases on the status of city housing, which are used by lending institutions to assess their investments.

Adam shares that “My experiences at UNHP have increased my awareness and understanding of low-income and urban issues in the United States. The work of UNHP and other similar community development organizations is vital to the success of developing urban society, and I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to work with UNHP and contribute to these efforts.”

The internship with UNHP provides hands-on learning and valuable work experience in an urban environment. It provides an opportunity for fellows to develop valuable career skills, enhance their professional acumen, and increase their awareness and understanding of low-income and urban issues. The internship is part of the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship offered to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers at Fordham.

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