Welcome, Zakee, our Spring Intern!

Jamilee Hoffman
Mar 1, 2024

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by TTF Intern, Zakee Smith

What’s up! My name is Zakee Smith, but I go by Zak. I’m excited to join TTF this Spring as an intern! I go to Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, and I’m doing a senior project on how communities of color are disproportionately exposed to polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) pollution in drinking water. What policies contributed to the breakdown of water treatment?

I chose this topic because of my recent experience with a lifeguarding job in Newtown where they assigned me to a pool in Bensalem. I traveled back and forth often to get to work; I stayed with my aunt on the weekdays and went to my mom’s on the weekends. During the weekday before work, I drank at least three bottles of spring water, a Gatorade, and a jug of tap water. When I tasted the tap water, I noticed there was a different taste from the water I had at home and wanted to figure out why. 

I have had a passion for water ever since I was nine. That’s when I was old enough to get out of a life vest. Then I learned how to swim at 12; however, not only did I become a more experienced swimmer, but also a lifeguard at 15. As you can see, I’ve always felt connected with water no matter if I was swimming in it, or drinking it. I frequently adventured to waterparks with my parents and every time, I made sure I spent time in the pool, ocean, or rivers. 

Swimming also helps me stay healthy and in shape. Another activity I like is baseball, which helps me with my patience and controlling emotions. I’m a Catcher for Sankofa and I am also part of the Student Government Association (SGA). My goal is to go to a college/university for baseball and major in religious studies, then become an MLB superstar, as a gateway not only to help other communities, but to make the world better.

Would you like to volunteer with TTF? Visit our Intern page.

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