The new Bridge Internship Program kicked off on Friday, June 2, at the Chapel's PathWays House in Durham's West End neighborhood. A celebration with food, remarks, and moments of reflection welcomed the five interns. The summer program is offered by the Wesley Campus Ministry at North Carolina Central University, the NCCU Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue, and Duke Chapel. Living together and working in the community, the participants consider how matters of faith shape the way they might live meaningfully and with purpose in the world, while also developing practical life skills related to work, community, and a fulfilling personal life.
Meet the 2023 Bridge Interns
Aryan Donikena is a rising sophomore at Duke University, studying biology and computer science. At school, he splits his time between classes, research, and cultural extracurricular initiatives. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, travel, and quality time with friends and family.
Rachel Garrett is a rising junior majoring in psychology at North Carolina Central University. A native of Ayden, North Carolina, she is a team leader for the NCCU Wesley Campus Ministry. Through the ministry, she participated in a mission project helping local churches in Costa Rica. She also recently participated in the Emerging Ministry Scholars Fellowship at Duke Divinity School. She aspires to serve the community by educating people, especially families and children, about why mental health is important.
Will Lieber is a rising Junior at Duke interested in rural and carceral medicine. His interest in the Bridge Internship Program was sparked by the class “Just Work,” which comprised Duke students and Durham community members. Through the class, he began volunteering with the local nonprofit Restorative Justice Durham, which helped him recognize what a wonderful place Durham is and the duty he has to serve and learn in this city. The Bridge Internship is an opportunity to do that in community with like-minded leaders and students.
Sydney Wilkins, whose hometown is Chesapeake, Virginia, is a rising junior at North Carolina Central University. A psychology major, she hopes to attend graduate school for neuropsychology as training to become a neuropsychologist. To relax, she enjoys listening to music as well as playing video games and watching YouTube. She is a proud member of the NCCU Wesley Campus Ministry.
Ka’Niya Willingham is a rising sophomore at North Carolina Central University. A native of Wilson, North Carolina, she is in the first generation of her family to attend a university. She majoring in criminal justice with plans to become a paralegal or criminologist. She wants to work behind the scenes to help law enforcement and attorneys get information about how crimes are started and how to prevent them. In her first year of college, she assisted the NCCU Wesley Campus Ministry, which she joined to explore different faiths and to learn more about her own faith. She also participates in the Screaming Eagles, a cheer group that shows school spirit at sports games and other events.