Summer interns work for the community and gain valuable experience
By Karen Obando ‘13
This fall, 28 students returned to Chapel Hill for the new school year with a deeper understanding and commitment to public service due to their unique experiences as APPLES summer interns. To keep students engaged in public service beyond the academic school year, APPLES offers summer internships where they can continue impacting the community through both an enriching academic and service experience.
APPLES summer interns received a stipend of $2,500 to work with a nonprofit or governmental agency over the course of eight to 10 weeks while also reflecting on this work through an independent-study course guided by a faculty advisor. Organizations that students partnered with this summer have a range of missions and serve a variety of communities. “In pairing students with nonprofit organizations, we aim to expose them to the workings of nonprofits and hopefully foster a further love for public service and service-learning,” said Tucker Petty ‘11, APPLES internships chair.
Laura Moore ‘12, an APPLES intern this past summer, worked with Dress for Success, a local nonprofit that aids disadvantaged women in their search for employment. This primarily volunteer-run, worldwide organization was established to provide unemployed women with business attire, resume assistance and ongoing support through career services. In 2008, the organization established a chapter in the Research Triangle area as well as locations in Durham and Raleigh. Since then, Dress for Success has served hundreds of low-income women by helping them achieve economic independence and providing them with the tools they need to succeed in the workplace. By partnering with APPLES, this community organization has been able to share the importance of providing this kind of support for women with APPLES summer interns like Moore.
During her internship, Moore participated in a variety of activities that ranged from direct interaction with clients to giving a presentation at a partner nonprofit in order to promote the organization’s mission. As is the case with many nonprofits, Moore said each day brought a different task to tackle. Some of Moore’s responsibilities included providing translation services, working at a booth at a career fair, modeling in a fashion show, and assisting in marketing and research for grants. The biggest project of her internship was the development of an operations manual which outlined the day-to-day functions of the Durham location. Moore said the end product was a very detailed, 40-page manual that described everything from where to put donated clothes to how to create an email account for a client.
Being able to observe and participate in the many different service areas of Dress for Success was a great learning experience for Moore. “I learned so much about working with people and met so many inspiring women this summer. I felt like I offered little in comparison to what they gave me: knowledge about the business world and knowledge about the struggles these women go through,” she said. Her experience reflects how APPLES community partnerships have benefitted not only community partners but students as well. “I feel they gave me a greater opportunity than I could ever repay.”
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APPLES summer intern, Laura Moore ’12.
Clothes available to Dress for Success clients.