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Community Engagement and Relevancy Intern
Ref No.: 19-00133
Location: Hopkins, South Carolina
Position Type:Internship
Start Date: 05/18/2020
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 Community Engagement and Relevancy Intern
NPS Unit Name Congaree National Park – Hopkins, SC
Position Dates May 25th – July 31st
Position Description The intern will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to increase African American engagement and relevancy for Congaree National Park. The old-growth floodplain forest at Congaree National Park is--along with the adjacent upland watersheds—long steeped in rich cultural legacies, including an African American community that traces its history, roots, and lifeways back for centuries. The park serves as the core for the Congaree Biosphere Region, which is a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization designation that extends to a local zone of partnership and cooperation
with a vision for shared economic, environmental, and cultural sustainability. While the park and biosphere reserve has recently made significant strides reaching out to local African American communities, there are still many opportunities--known and unknown--to ensure that all voices are engaged with park-related opportunities for recreation
and community involvement. This internship, which is vital to capitalizing, can be broken down into four primary dimensions: 
  1. Strengthening existing community relationships
  2. Building new relationships with individuals, organizations, agencies, businesses, and entities
  3. Helping NPS staff increase the relevancy of the park and biosphere reserve to African American communities
  4. Developing a sustainable plan that NPS staff can utilize following the internship to continue this critical work
 The intern will work across a wide variety of settings ranging from urban areas in the Greater Columbia Metropolitan Area (population ~800, 000) to rural communities to the federally designated Wilderness areas within Congaree National Park. After a thorough orientation to the NPS mission, park resources, and park goals, the intern will use a range of networking, public speaking, writing, problem-solving, and other skills as they interact with community members from wide-variety of demographic and socio-economic backgrounds. The goal is to identify key individuals, organizations, opportunities, and needs within the African American community that can be engaged through park programs and partnerships (including the Congaree Biosphere Region). With five HBCU institutions within an hour's drive of the park, the intern will spend a significant amount of time seeking to strengthen and build relationships with HBCU faculty and staff to frame potential long-term park/biosphere engagement. The candidate will also reach out to African American community organizations, places of worship, businesses, and agencies with related goals. During the latter part of the summer, the intern will work with park staff to structure visits, meetings, outreach opportunities, Park programs (including potential citizen science data collection), and more.
As a final deliverable, the intern will provide a written strategic plan that will include (1) a summer 2019 summary snapshot description of the African American community, including partners, organizations, concerns, etc.; (2) specific recommendations for goals, opportunities, processes that might be aligned to support both the park and the local community; (3) specific contact information for key partners; and (4) a bibliography of key publications. The intern will also have opportunities to work with a variety of NPS volunteers and shadow diverse areas of summer operations to learn about the many career options in the NPS.
Learning Goals The intern will gain crucial practical experience in community engagement, resource interpretation, volunteer management, resource stewardship, partnership development, mass communication, and other skills directly related to operating a national park and working with partnerships through the Congaree Biosphere Region. The selected intern will work closely with staff from all park divisions and will be exposed to real-world issues involving scientific research, law enforcement, human resources, visitor services, cultural resources and many other areas.
Qualifications While the position is open to a range of majors and specializations, candidates must meet the following qualifications:
  1. At least three full years of undergraduate coursework in the last four years
  2. At least 48 course hours in any combination of the following areas: communications, community development, public relations, cultural anthropology, business, marketing, and/or environmental science
  3. Recommendations and social media profiles that can attest to mature judgment, professionalism, and social skills
  4. A portfolio of writing samples, products, presentations, and/or digital media that attest to good written communication and computer skills
  5. Access to a dedicated personal vehicle and ability to drive a government vehicle for the duration of the internship
  6. Willingness to undergo a federal background check prior to the internship start date
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 The projects described here will involve a combined, net balance of ~40% offsite work in the local communities, 30% front-country/office work, and 30% fieldwork in the floodplain wilderness. The intern will generally, work a regular Monday to Friday work schedule from 8:00 am to 4:30; occasional weekend work, however, such as the Saturday June Butterfly Count or other summer outreach events will be required, but these will be compensated with leave days in the flanking week(s). Interns should be comfortable lifting 50 Lbs and day hiking with a backpack in the summer heat. Office workspace will be at the Center's facility and the Harry Hampton Visitor Center, which are within a five-minute walk of each other. Summer safety training and specialized field gear will be required and provided.
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 will be provided for non-local interns.
  • 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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