"Tell me, and I'll forget. Show me, and I may remember. But involve me, and I'll understand." -- Chinese proverb
The Penn Civic Scholars Program requires one full-time summer internship in the public interest typically following sophomore or junior year. An internship experience supports several goals of the program:
- Interns acquire first-hand, concentrated experience with established efforts to address social problems.
- Students can apply and test the knowledge gained in courses, civic engagement activities, and research during the school year in a focused and sustained way.
- Internships can serve as inspiration for capstone project ideas or as foundations for capstone projects.
- Summer internships can be a means for students to galvanize ideas about their future careers.
Photo by Ignacio Crespo, C'11; summer internship through the Center for the Advanced Study of India.
Civic Scholars can participate in internships locally, nationally, and internationally. Students are expected to explore internship opportunities independently, but Civic Scholars staff can provide guidance and support in navigating resources on- and off-campus to identify an appropriate summer experience.
In addition, for internship experiences that are uncompensated, Civic Scholars are eligible to receive stipends through the program to help meet living expenses.
Read what Civic Scholars have to say about their public interest summer internship experiences:
Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY | "I met people who were in the shelter because it was their only escape from prostitution, or because a landlord had illegally removed them from their apartment, or because they had to flee...an abusive spouse, to name just a few reasons. My internship revealed many of the complexities involved with finding employment and with homelessness in general, and I definitely am better able to think critically about the issues of homelessness and poverty." --Rachel Hirshorn, C'15
Low Income Investment Fund, San Francisco, CA | "My experience this summer at LIIF was one I will not soon forget. I learned about how Community Development Financial Institutions, particularly the Low Income Investment Fund, help alleviate poverty in their communities. I discovered a new sector of non-profit work that allows me to leverage my skills in business while making a civic impact. I got the chance to acquire new analytical and financial skills while gaining a firsthand understanding of the non-profit working environment." --Paul Lyandres, W'12
Bread & Roses Community Fund, Philadelphia, PA | "At Bread & Roses I have been pushed to think critically about the beliefs I have and the actions I take. The thoughtful and strategic way that Bread & Roses staff go about making decisions and analyzing the organization's role in the city has motivated me to apply the same approach to my organizing. I also feel much more connected to Philadelphia. I feel that I am not just a student here but a citizen of the city." --Penny Jennewein, C'14
Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Calcutta, India | "Ironically, by being a social worker here who is supposed to be doing an intervention of sorts, I've come realize that people in India have no need for my intervention. Everything here has a logic of its own...I've learned to see people as they exist in all their differences, without pity and without an impulse to change their lives based on an idea of justice that I believe is universally desirable...In a broader sense, I have learned to love India for exactly who she is." --Meghna Chandra, C'13