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Public Engagement Intern - DHA-RA
Ref No.: 18-00165
Company/Department:Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Location: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Position Type:Intern
Start Date: 05/20/2019
The need for preserving all of our nation's history has never been greater, we're counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) DHA Program is an 11-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 Public Engagement Intern: "I Belong Here Too " African American Public History Stories
NPS Unit Name Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, WV
Position Dates May 20 – August 2, 2019
Direct Hiring Authority Resource Assistant The DHA Resource Assistant internship (DHA-RA) is a unique internship opportunity within the Department of the Interior (DOI). The objective is to build a pathway to employment in the DOI for exemplary students in higher education. DHA-RA interns will apply content expertise to NPS management and build a network with federal employees throughout the internship. These rigorous internships require specialized expertise and typically are available to upper-level undergraduate or graduate students or recent graduates. The internships are designed to develop the participant's technical and creative thinking abilities, leadership skills, and problem-solving capabilities. DHA-RA interns will receive a weekly stipend of $480, park-provided housing or a housing allowance, and paid travel expenses. Successful completion of the internship does not guarantee that the participant will be hired into a federal position.

In order to be eligible for a DHA--RA Internship, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident ( "green-card-holder”) and enrolled or within one year of graduating from an institution of higher education.

DHA-RA interns who successfully complete the internship requirements become eligible for 2 years from the date of their degree to be non-competitively hired by the Department of Interior.
Position Description Visitors enter Harpers Ferry every day and not realize the diversity of the people who once lived or worked here or their impact on the town's history or fame. This HBCUI driven ACE program will build upon existing knowledge of the park resource in order to share it in a new way, to give context and relevance to the people of color, whose stories helped create this National Park's history. This program seeks to help visitors find relevance in how communities of people help and support each other despite adversity.

After hearing African American history stories, various dialogic questions about adversity and community would be posed to visitors: Have you encountered a time in your life when adversity, bad luck, hardship, suffering, sorrow, threatened your well- being? What methods did you employ to overcome adversity.? How can building a community change a person's life? How did enslaved and free African Americans construct communal identities in antebellum to legally segregated Harpers Ferry? What obstacles did they confront from white people? from other African Americans? How did they respond to these obstacles? How did African Americans exercise autonomy and influence through community? Can you identify the avenues of community used by 18th, 19th and 20th Century Harper's Ferry African American's as they Struggled for Freedom & Civil Rights?

A 5 to 10-page research report is required of the HBCU student. The report needs to capture each deconstructed story, explain what the team believes the story means; provide documentation of the story and the town's former enslaved or free African American's struggle for freedom and dignity and how they were able to accomplish it. This paper will serve as the 1st chapter for future summer interns; to instruct and teach future public history students the tools and research needed to build upon the same. The paper deadline is before the completion of the internship and needs to meet the standards of the park supervisor. This assignment is a requirement to satisfy the DHA program eligibility

This Summer 2019 experience for park visitors is presented in different areas of Harpers Ferry park resource, different days, different advertised locations as a way to place as many stories back on the historic landscape as possible. These locations would be: 18th century Harper House where the towns' first enslaved woman Beck lived, The Armory Fire Engine House "Abolitionist John Brown's Fort” & history tied to the Allstadt Ordinary where John Brown the Abolitionist stopped to collect hostages and enslaved people he hoped to free, 19th century dry goods store/Stipes Boarding House where civil war era contraband lived, John Brown Museum where a free black husband and his enslaved family lived, & Storer College a HBCU on Camp Hill. These are just a few of the many places to be explored and featured on these ACE programs.
Learning Goals 1. Learn site-specific African American history stories, collaborate with summer staff and interns to learn NPS best practices to deconstruct the stories to extract their meanings.

2. Based on the meanings, the HBCU intern would learn how to construct or match dialogic questions about the stories to make them more relevant to park audiences.

3. HBCUI intern would learn to how to create appropriate interpretive living history techniques, group participatory historic trades activities, in order to engage park audiences in scheduled
programs throughout the park.
Current study or recent graduate with a degree or concentration in
one of the following fields is preferred: History, Music,
Communications, Theater, Art, or Political Science. An interest in the Civil War, Civil Rights, or HBCU history is beneficial. Other relevant skills:
• Public Speaking skills, strong oral and written communication
skills, research, and strong writing. Also, a plus (but not required) are historic trades, baking, or sewing skills.
• The individual must be comfortable interacting with the public on a daily basis.
• The individual must be willing to wear period clothing and do third
person interpretation for park programs. Music skills (piano/organ or voice, ability to read music) are highly desirable, but not required.

Additional qualifications:
  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited HBCU institution
  • Must be between 16 and 35 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 This position is with the Living History and Historic Trades Offices. This means the intern would engage park visitors in period clothing of 18th and 19th-century people. The intern would learn historic methods of cooking, baking, historic weapons, sewing, and at times,
blacksmithing. The Park NPS staff consists of various specialties: Cultural & Natural Resource Management, Visitor Protection, Maintenance, Public History and Interpretation that consists of Youth Education, Living History & Historic Trades, Visitor Services Desks.
Vehicle/License Requirement It is strongly recommended that the Intern possess a valid driver's
license and bring a personal vehicle. This is recommended for both
professional and personal reasons. A vehicle is required to be able to
drive to the grocery store and other amenities. Intern must have a valid state driver's license in order to operate a government vehicle.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $480 per week
  • Shared Park Housing is available, offered in apartment or dormitory style. Office, outdoor spaces, and exhibits that the Intern will be working in. Housing has A/C and a fully stocked kitchen and is fully furnished.
  • Attend the all-expense paid Leadership & Careers Workshop
  • Qualify for federal non-compete hiring after meeting service requirements
  • 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 Resume and cover letter are required to apply. Please combine as one PDF document and upload file to the SERVE portal.

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