Rappaport Fellows making an impact

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Growing and improving Main Streets’ farmer’s markets, tracking bicycle related injuries and developing landscape visualizations are just a few ways Rappaport Institute Fellows are making a difference in local neighborhoods this summer.

This year, three Harvard Kennedy School students were among the 14 fellows chosen to work in state and local offices in the Greater Boston area. This ten-week opportunity allows students to get hands-on experience in local government management and use their analytical skills to benefit the public.

Matthew La Rocque is spending the summer with the Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE) and Boston Public Schools.

“Specifically, I analyzed earned income models and human resource practices of school support organizations across the country, and presented BPE’s senior leadership team with strategies to achieve financial sustainability,” said La Rocque. “Along the way, I learned that non-profit organizations like BPE need to work in close partnership with their local government counterparts if they hope to be successful.”

The opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in a classroom is a major motivation for the fellows.

“At the Kennedy School, I gained experience analyzing large amounts of information and explaining it concisely,” said Ashali Singham, “Which helped me develop effective materials this summer.”

Singham has been working in the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance. “I saw how quantitative analysis is done in government, which I think will be useful in my classes next year.”

Emily Monea agreed the experience gained through the fellowship will give her more direction moving forward.