Quynh Nguyen | 2014 | Interns

Quynh Nguyen (’15)

Garden Grove, CA

Dana Mead Intern

Biology Major

Washington DC Mayor's Office

This summer I was working for the DC government at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (DMPED). I was involved with two projects in the office, the New Communities Initiative (NCI) and Great Streets. NCI is a district-government program aimed at revitalizing distressed public housing neighborhoods into vibrant mixed-income communities by preserving public housing units and creating new affordable and market rate units in each development. The initiative focuses on four neighborhoods - Barry Farm, Northwest One, Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings, and Park Morton. I attended outreach events with the NCI team including several affordable housing expos and community meetings in the neighborhoods. In particular I prepared and administered a resident survey on housing preferences and knowledge of NCI in Lincoln Heights. I also organized a database of nonprofits, foundations, and other initiatives across the country for potential partnerships. The Great Streets program is a commercial revitalization initiatives focused on small business growth and catalytic investments in 11 corridors in DC. I assisted the team on best practices research, executing grant agreements, and creating a database of existing studies on each corridor.

Working at DMPED this summer allowed me to see how a municipal government is run and the process behind different services. I learned a lot about affordable housing policy and practices, small businesses growth, and the lives of public housing residents. In the future I hope to become a physician and work with urban low-income communities. Being able interact with and learn about how the residents live in public housing and the services available to them were valuable experiences. Although I come from a very different background than DMPED's focus, everyone in the office was very patient and willing to answer my questions. It was an amazing work environment and I truly felt welcomed as part of the team.