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Get Inspired Internship
To provide the opportunity for young people ages 16 and older to serve the local community and undergo personal development and leadership training through a well-structured summer internship program for about 15 young interns.
In order to train leaders of tomorrow’s society, we have to engage our young generation with today’s social issues. If young people take up the challenge of meeting various needs of the society today, they will be proud of their social involvement and be encouraged to take up larger projects later. Such individuals will provide a better leadership for tomorrow by being inspired to make positive changes in our society.
Get Inspired program aspires to engage tomorrow’s leaders with today’s society to meet the goals of sustainable development in selected areas of the local community.
Model of Internship
There are three pillars of ‘Get Inspired Houston’ program:
§ Leadership training
§ Action/ direct engagement in solving community problems
- Each intern will spend a mandatory of 25 hours up to 40 hours per week on various local projects. Interns must be available to work at least 4 days a week.
- Undergraduate and graduate students may also apply for the internship. Applicants should be hard-working, enthusiastic, self-motivated, flexible and interested in helping the local community at large.
- An intern will attend at least one orientation session during the internship and at least one lecture every three weeks of the training. This is the minimum requirement.
- Each intern will have to update a blog/report each week. He/she will also be expected to give a presentation at the end of the internship.
- Each intern will get to choose one or more mentors from a pool of mentors who are community leaders. He/she will stay in touch with the mentor. The mentor will help the candidate to make the most of this internship and learn how the internship experience can be helpful in future.
Example Internship profiles
Every intern will have a job profile related to a particular project. Each intern will be expected to be innovative in the approach for resolving the social issue associated with his profile. Below are some example job profiles related to two different projects.
Bhutanese family empowerment project:
US government accepts refugees from different calamity/war-struck countries of the world on a regular basis. In the year 2008, US government accepted almost 60,000 refugees from Bhutan.Bhutan is a small country inSouth Asia. Many of these refugee families have arrived in various cities within US and hundreds more are expected to arrive in coming years. It is a challenge to integrate these people into the local community. It is not as obvious as teaching them English, helping them with employment and helping in the admission of their kids into school. The real challenges lie in dealing with their psychological trauma after living in refugee camp for more than ten years. Women of this community face issues that might be beyond comprehension for an average Houstonian. We take up the challenge of helping them to make Houston their home. Following are suggested projects for interns:
This community has numerous women issues, very different from regular issues that we face in US. One woman was forced to leave her job because her husband did not want to take care of their kids while she worked even though he had not yet been able to find work. Other women feel shy to go to work because of different cultural settings and different understanding about what they can do. There are other issues in these families that need particular attention by someone who can become their friend, understand them and help them resolve their issues.
These Bhutanese people have varying backgrounds in terms of employment. Some have long professional experience and others can’t even write their name. But most have a common employment problem. They have forgotten how to work as they have lived in refugee camps where they did not have permit to work for a very long time. Now, they are in a country where work is expected of everyone. Many are having a tough time adjusting to the work culture.These issues are on top of a global recession where getting a new job is tremendously difficult. An intern working in this area will be expected to attempt to understand these problems better and hopefully set some guidelines that will help the employment program during the years to come.
Public awareness and media
There are lots of people out there who would like to assist the destitute and helpless refugees to the best of their ability. The problem is lack of awareness. A public relations and media intern will take up one of many tools of awareness and seek to create awareness in the community about the issues in the lives of these people. Example of the tools could be creating simple short video documentaries, creating a photography exhibit, or writing articles and contacting print and broadcast media. Tools of awareness can be as simple as coordination of coverage in talk shows, making presentations or even raising awareness on facebook. Tools are only the means, but a systematic approach to awareness brings a sense of inclusiveness to all volunteers of the project and brings the team together.
There are few hundred Bhutanese families in various cities like Chicago, San Deigo etc and it increases to several hundred in cities like Atlanta,Houston etc. There are more than 100 volunteers helping out these families. Assigning each volunteer to a task of his liking and keeping a track of his/her needs and progress is a task in itself requiring some database and communication solutions. An Information Solutions Intern would be expected to look into these issues and help create a sustainable web-based solution.