San Francisco Advantage

USF Students Make Their Mark in Public Service

Meet five McCarthy fellows who work to improve San Francisco

by Sydney Tweedley ’26, USF News

You can’t fight City Hall, but you can join it.

The McCarthy Center at USF places students in semester-long internships in the City of San Francisco government. The students earn six units, learn how government works, and help make San Francisco a more inclusive and equitable city. Here are some recent placements and accomplishments of students in the McCarthy Fellows program

Evan Cajigas

Evan Cajigas ’24, a finance major and aspiring firefighter, helped develop the San Francisco Fire Department’s Behavioral Health Unit, a confidential service for firefighters experiencing hardships such as chronic stress or PTSD.

Giuseppe Cannavo

Giuseppe Cannavó ’25, an engineering major, put his analyst skills into action for the Department of Public Works. He marked and studied the relationship between design, management, and construction costs on projects in San Francisco. His data will be used for the California Multi-Agency Benchmarking Study, which analyzes the state’s use of federal funding.

Jade Carter

Jade Carter ’24, an environmental studies major, interned with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. She worked on planning and promoting the India Basin Waterfront Park project in Bayview-Hunters Point, which will turn an industrial zone into a 10-acre park.

Hannah Nelson

Hannah Nelson ’24, a politics major, registered voters and answered questions about voting when she interned in the outreach division of the Department of Elections. Stationed at information tables around the city, Nelson helped tackle a common voter suppression tactic by distributing translated registration forms to non-English-speaking San Franciscans.

Kemelyn Alvarado

Kemelyn Alvarado ’24, a politics major with a minor in criminal justice studies, worked in the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) to improve housing access for asylum-seekers. She created a group email list to build a stronger bridge between the city and immigrants seeking housing.

After her semester as a McCarthy Fellow, Alvarado proposed a partnership between USF and OCEIA to explore “how USF can play a bigger role in aiding asylum-seekers in San Francisco,” she said. Just weeks ago, USF agreed to house 10 asylum-seekers on campus this summer. Alvarado has recruited student volunteers to welcome and help the asylum-seekers find resources in San Francisco.