Summer Intern Spotlight | Adam Hopson

young white man standing on boat in blue shirt

We are pleased to spotlight Adam Hopson who has joined the 540Team a few weeks ago as our EJ Research Intern for Summer 2020

About Adam  

Adam is a rising Junior at the University of Rochester, studying Biochemistry and Environmental Studies. He is serving as an Urban Fellow through the University of Rochester Urban Fellows Internship program, and is currently working through AmeriCorps Vista. He is on the varsity Diving team at Rochester and serves as teaching assistant for classes, and hopes to go into medicine with his degrees and the experience that he has gained this summer with environmental and racial justice work.

Tell us about yourself. Where were born? How old are you? How many siblings do you have?

AH: I was born in Sayre, Pennsylvania. I’ve had the opportunity to move all over the East Coast, from Virginia and Delaware to Cooperstown, NY. I’m 20 years old, and I’m an only child! I have a lot of really close cousins that serve as my fill-in siblings. 

What is your current major and why did you choose this path?
AH: I’m majoring in Biochemistry and Environmental Studies right now at the University of Rochester, and am looking into different possible minors that I can fulfill. I chose this path because I love learning about science and the human body, but I am also very passionate about our planet. We can’t live without it, and I think that it’s imperative we protect it!

What do you plan to do post graduation?
AH: I am planning on taking a gap year after I graduate from Rochester, where I hope to work in the medical field in some capacity and participate in some medical service trips to different countries around the world! After that, I plan to apply to medical school, and someday work as a pediatric physician!

How are you coping and staying well during this pandemic? How has COVID-19 impacted your personal and college life?
AH: COVID-19 has been difficult to deal with, as it has made me stay home and not partake in many of the activities and interact with the people that I had planned to for the summer. But I am very thankful that I have not contracted Coronavirus and that my extended and immediate family members have all been healthy, too. Being in quarantine has been tough for me since I am very social person, but I have used the free time to stay in good physical shape, learn how to cook healthy meals, and keep up much better with the daily news.

What made you interested in an internship at 540WMain?
AH: I actually applied to a summer program offered by the University of Rochester called the Urban Fellows Summer Associate program. I really wanted to spend my summer learning about urban issues in Rochester, and how I could exercise my passions and awesome educational experiences at the U of R to make a difference in the community. I was lucky enough to be accepted, and I was placed with 540WMain as my host organization for the summer! I am very interested to learn more about the environment, and about the racial and social injustices plaguing our society.

What do you hope to bring to 540WMain through this internship experience?
AH: I hope to bring my passions about the environment, experience working with children, and my high energy personality to help out 540WMain in any capacity that is needed!

What are you most excited about for this internship?
AH: I’m excited to experience and learn what it’s like to work through the logistics of running a nonprofit organization. I’ve volunteered with nonprofits before, but it will be awesome to gain experience working with others in a professional setting and learning from everyone at the organization.

What do you like most about living/attending school in Rochester?
AH: All of my friends, peers, and teammates that I get to work with every day! My experiences at Rochester have been very inclusive and collaborative, with everyone really demonstrating their passions and talents. It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by such amazing peers every day!

What do you like least about living/attending school in Rochester?
AH: The wind and snow punching me in the face after an early morning diving practice when I’m leaving the pool and heading out for breakfast at the dining hall. And then having to rush to class, right afterwards, through a blizzard!

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of being a full-time college student?
AH: Fitting time in to take care of yourself. My schedule is pretty hectic for most of the year with the diving season and my course load, so I struggle sometimes to make sure that I’m taking enough time for myself during the day so that I can be functioning as best as I can.

What is your greatest fear? How do you plan to overcome that fear?
AH: My greatest fear is not being happy with my life when I’m an older, working professional. I want to make sure that I really enjoy what I’m doing, and I plan to overcome that by trying out a lot of new experiences and fields to see what I enjoy doing the most! That and the dark, I’m still afraid of walking into a pitch-black room!

What is it that inspires you as a young professional?

AH: Seeing the happiness and satisfaction that other professionals experience working in their fields. I strive to be happy with my career and love the work that I am doing, and I really admire individuals who have discovered those passions and made them a reality for themselves.

What advice do you have for those entering college for the first time?
AH: Test out different classes, and major in what YOU want to study. Don’t feel like you need to major in something because that’s what others will want to see. Break the status quo and learn about what you think is awesome!work. Stay on top of homework, but also talk with others, take a walk, watch a movie or tv show, go out to eat, do something that you enjoy and take a break.

If you could go back in time what would you tell your freshman self?
AH: You are going to be very tired and worn out at times, so take care of yourself and look after your needs, dude.

If you could wish for a super power what power would you wish for and why?
AH: I would wish for duplication, so that I could split off and make another Adam who could help me out with some of my work and the tasks that I want to accomplish that day. But I’d have to make sure he doesn’t try to replace me.

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
AH: Do what makes you happy in life, because life is way too short to be disappointed, angry and regretful.

In case you missed it be sure to catch up with Adam this past week on 540WMain’s official instagram account (

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1) Join our growing membership base at
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Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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