The Dickens Project's First Intern

December 22, 2023

By Courtney Mahaney and Berenize Marcelo Amezcua 


Meet Berenize Marcelo Amezcua, our accomplished intern selected through UC Santa Cruz's Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program! Berenize, a junior double-majoring in education and Spanish studies, is learning invaluable professional skills while supporting and expanding our Dickens Day of Writing program. As part of the internship, she also participates in a year-long leadership seminar to hone her leadership prowess and engage in numerous professional development opportunities. She also earned a well-deserved scholarship for the academic year as part of her commitment to the 400-hour internship.


Courtney: Berenize, what drew you to the Chancellor's Internship Program (CUIP) and ultimately to the Dickens Project?  

Berenize: Hermana shared her CUIP experience with us at a Hermanas Unidas meeting, and I thought I would apply to see what could happen. When I looked at the different internships available, I saw the Dickens Project and read how you work with high school students and had a Day of Writing. I was truly hooked when I saw the work with the students and wanted to be part of that in the Santa Cruz community. I also thought it was important to give students the opportunity to read nineteenth-century literature and know that it is still relevant today. I want to thank the Dickens Project for trusting me with this position because I have learned a lot so far!

Courtney: How does this internship fit into your academic and career goals, and what do you hope to achieve this year?

Berenize: I have a lot of career goals in mind, and I wonder if I could do it all! One day, I want to be a teacher in Spanish or in a dual immersion program. I would love to work in all three school settings: elementary, middle, and high school. I know they’re all different, but they are all excellent environments to show students that all languages matter. As mentioned, I am also a Spanish major. This year, we were lucky enough to translate “Night Walks” into Spanish, allowing students to express their creativity in a different language. With that addition, I also want to create a Spanish language “Night Walks” curriculum for students one day. With the Dickens Project internship, I can see what goes into building lesson plans and how to teach content to students. It's a great way to dip my toes into something I want to do in the near future. 

Courtney: The Dickens Day of Writing will again focus on Charles Dickens's short essay "Night Walks." What struck you the most after reading this piece, and how do you think students will benefit from reflecting on it?

Berenize: I read “Night Walks” for the first time this quarter and always heard everyone say it was a great read that related to our community in Santa Cruz. After reading it, I undoubtedly agree. What struck me most was the amount of content that still relates today, the aspect that at night, it is a different world outside. It is quiet, yet there is movement in the city with those who are outside. I believe it benefits the students because they realize that literature from the nineteenth century can still be used in a conversation today and how much it relates to what’s around them. It also allows them to use the context and be creative in how they explain the content. 

Courtney: And just for fun, do you prefer tea or coffee? 

Berenize: I prefer coffee over tea! I can have coffee hot or cold, black, or with creamer, just never super sweet. 


We are delighted that Berenize joined the Dickens Project team. She embodies dedication, enthusiasm, and a commitment to excellence that is truly inspiring.