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Park Guide Intern
Ref No.: 19-00124
Location: Brecksville, Ohio
Position Type:Internship
Start Date: 05/25/2020
Pay Rate : $ 10.00 /Hour
The need for preserving all of our nation's history has never been greater, and we're counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) is a 10-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation's history and culture. Participants gain real-world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.
Position Title Park Guide Intern
NPS Unit Name Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Brecksville, OH
Position Dates May 25th – July 31st
Position Description Cuyahoga Valley National Park is continuing to learn about African American history that is part of our park story. In researching for exhibits in our new (and first-ever) central visitor center, which was ten years in the making, we have found untold stories of African Americans who had influence here. These stories include families that once lived in the valley and Camp Mueller which was a summer camp established by the Phyllis Wheatley Association in Cleveland. Camp Mueller was for African American children and was right in the heart of our park. It is where many children came to experience the outdoors – and learn to swim. African Americans were not allowed to swim in the municipal swimming pools in Cleveland when this camp was established. The camp has since closed, and it is currently uncertain what will happen to the property. (The park has inholdings of privately owned land within its borders, including Camp Mueller). We want to make sure that this history is not lost and to make it part of our interpretive framework. We do have some research that was done by a previous graduate intern, but we have yet to share this rich history with our visiting public. We have used some of the photos that were found during this research in the new visitor center, as well as touched on those stories. The new visitor center opened to the public in October 2019 and is a success in the effort to make this $7 million facility welcoming to all visitors. We want to take a deeper dive into the stories touched on in the visitor center, and bring a level of inclusion and relevance that frankly has not previously existed in our exhibits and programming. CVNP has become a 'white space,' due to the racism in housing that occurred in the 1960s, and the white flight into the suburbs. The suburban communities surrounding the park have little diversity, and the undertone that still exists is that people of color have to pass through the suburbs to get to the park. It creates a sentiment that people of color are not welcome. There are local park supporters (friends group board members, donors, volunteers, regular visitors, etc), of many backgrounds, who are beginning to help us break this barrier down, but we still have work to do.
 In 2019, we used the frame of the 50th Anniversary of the last fire on the Cuyahoga River tells begin telling the stories of black Americans that had significant influence here. We used the story of Carl Stokes (former Mayor of Cleveland, and the first African American Mayor of a major American city) - at the time he was mayor, Cleveland was experiencing civil unrest and racism at the same time the environmental crisis of the river fire was unfolding. Community Engagement staff and interns (including a 2019 HBCUI that was an essential part of the team) found success in reaching new audiences and taking the intern to help us carry that work forward, do further research, organize the information, and create audience-centered experiences that make these stories come alive. The 2020 intern will include creating a new pop-up exhibit. The intern will also create plans and ideas regarding how the park can continue to embed this history into our interpretive activities. Our goal is for CVNP to be welcoming to all people. One way that we can do that is to help people see themselves in our stories and our future. The HCBUI intern will also work alongside the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Learning Goals The intern will gain skills in research, message and content development, community engagement, audience-centered Interpretation using dialogic questions and creating a pop-up exhibit, and training/leading volunteers.
Qualifications Coursework in history, environmental justice, civil rights movement, or natural resources Strong written and verbal communication skills. Coursework in communications would be helpful.
Additional qualifications:
•          Must be currently enrolled or recent graduate of an accredited HBCU institution
•          Must be between 16 and 30 years of age
•          Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
•          Must be able to pass a federal background check
 Work Environment Combination of air-conditioned office and field, and travel to meetings and activities/event booths in surrounding communities. The weather in the summer can be hot and humid. Precautions should be taken for ticks and poison ivy.
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle is required for this site. A valid state driver's license is required to operate a government vehicle while conducting official government business.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $10 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • A housing assistance stipend is available for non-local intern.
  • Mandatory attendance in the all-expense-paid Career & Leadership Workshop
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions
Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at
  • Use the link to apply to the selected position
  • First-time applicants must create a profile on JobDiva
  • Upload resume as a PDF file
    • The file name should include your first and last name or initials
    • Examples: FI. Lastname-resume.pdf, Firstname Lastname – resume.pdf, or Firstname L.pdf
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