Go and serve: new program rewards internships at non-profits

Bemidji State University students are being encouraged to pursue summer internships at regional non-profit organizations as part of the university’s new Non-Profit Scholarship Program.

Aitken-Julin-Molly-WebThe program will award $1,000 scholarships to as many as 10 seniors who plan to complete human-services related internships in greater Minnesota during the summer of 2014. The internships must be at a non-profit 501(c)(3) company or a tribal agency, and applicants must meet minimum academic requirements.

“Students who are required to complete an internship are paying for credits while they are taking what is usually a non-paid internship at the same time,” said Molly Aitken-Julin, internship and employment coordinator at BSU’s Career Services office. “This program is an attempt to help our students offset the cost of completing the requirements for their programs.”

The program was piloted in 2013, and included Red Lake Chemical Health Programs, Hope House in Bemidji and Evergreen Youth and Family Services, among others.

“After taking the courses through BSU that educated me on what to do, it was very valuable to actually go out into the field and experience it in the real situations,” said Chelsea Ginter, a 2013 social work and psychology graduate from Little Falls, Minn., who participated in the pilot. “I believe it topped off what I had learned and made me feel very secure to know I have the ability to work outside of the classroom.”

Based on this type of feedback from participating students and the non-profit organizations where they worked, the program was made permanent by BSU President Richard Hanson this spring.

“One of Bemidji State’s signature themes is community engagement,” Hanson said. “We want our students to have a broad variety of experiences in their communities, in the region and around the world. This program allows us to encourage students to pursue enriching and rewarding opportunities with organizations that do tremendously beneficial work in service to the people of Minnesota.”

Applications for summer of 2014 are due May 1. Students can apply for the scholarships using a form from Career Services.

Molly Aitken-Julin, internship and employment coordinator, BSU Career Services; (218) 755-2038

BSU Career Services