Council Bluffs has been selected with four other cities for launching a program that will bring together college students and local nonprofit organizations during an eight-week paid summer internship.
The Tyson Foods Summer Community Internship Program is providing a $200,000 grant to get this program off the ground, which will be administered by Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.
“The grant is given to us to administer the program and also to pay the nonprofits to pay the students directly,” said Emily Shields, executive director of Iowa Campus Compact. “Non-profits don’t always have resources to pay interns, so to have this is beneficial.”
This program will launch next summer in Chicago, and three Iowa cities — Sioux City, Storm Lake and Council Bluffs. This is a pilot program and, if it works well, it might be expanded to other communities, Shields said.
The Tyson program is new, while Campus Compact has been involved in student/nonprofit partnerships for more than 30 years, which includes helping students at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Shields said.
“We see a lot of benefits for both students and the nonprofits,” she said.
When nonprofits don’t have funds for paid internships, this discourages students from applying, since they usually need paid summer jobs to fund their tuitions, Shields said.
What’s more, corporations look for college graduates with community involvement, she added.
“We’re hoping for big impacts all around,” she said.
Approximately 40 non-profits from all four cities are to be selected in this program. They will then interview and select the student applicants that best fit their needs, Shields said.
For local nonprofits and college students interested in this program, they need to apply online by Nov. 17 at iacampuscompact.org.