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A group poses in front of a sign that says Peacehaven Community Farm

By Brianna Patterson

Through the SECU Public Fellow Internship program, Robert Fus ‘26 interned at Peacehaven Community Farm, a community that connects adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Whitsett, North Carolina. Taylor Williams, the lead educator of programs at Peacehaven, captured the organization’s mission, saying “our slogan is growing vegetables and growing people—and any day of the week you can see both of those hand in hand.”   

Fus, an economics and computer science double-major, applied to be an SECU Public Fellow Intern because he was seeking productive and meaningful work over the summer. During his internship, he worked with two programs that provide economic opportunities to community members: Reaching Interdependence, Skills, & Employment (R.I.S.E), a job-preparation program for adults with disabilities, and Farm Corps, a program that provides meaningful work for high school students. 

Throughout this experience, he gained insight into the economic needs and resources of rural communities while also cultivating his communication skills and focusing on living in the moment. 

“I want to encourage more people to therapeutically take a break, feel the grooves of a Swiss chard leaf and experience the kindness found at Peacehaven,” said Fus.  

The SECU Public Fellows Internship program provides a unique and enriching summer experience to students from various academic backgrounds, allowing them to explore their own interests and gain experience in a new field. Fus believes that this experience will provide him with transferrable skills for his future career, regardless of what field he works in. “While I am more oriented toward a STEM-oriented career in my future, I think that there are lots of transferable things. It’s just a great experience to be around here.” 

Hear more from Fus and Peacehaven Farm staff:

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