San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)
312 Sutter Street Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94108
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Deland Chan has always been interested in cities and the processes that govern them. An Urban Studies and Sociology major, she was introduced to SPUR, a public policy group that focuses on urban planning, during a summer fellowship at Stanford this year.
On working at SPUR, Deland said, "I like that SPUR has a pretty 'young' feel to it - everyone is really smart and interesting. [It's] a great place for college students to test out whether or not they would like to work in a public policy, think-tank setting!"
One SPUR focus area for Deland was a project on earthquake preparedness - a topic she had no prior knowledge about. By the end of her 9-week internship, she'd written a 23-page report and given a detailed presentation to SPUR staff.
"I feel a sense of accomplishment because I had tackled a fairly comprehensive topic, wrote a 23-page paper of my findings, and gave a final presentation to SPUR staff. I found that having those concrete benchmarks gave me the impression that I was doing something that had substance for the organization and my own fellowship."
According to Deland, the skills she acquired at SPUR have also helped with her current project: an honors thesis on the housing conditions of migrant workers in Beijing.
SPUR is one of many planning and urban development organizations that use VolunteerMatch to find volunteers want to make a difference in the social fabric of cities. Thanks to VolunteerMatch, these cities, and the people who live there, can grow stronger - one volunteer at a time.