SJP 2016-2017 – Internship Registration

September 30, 2017 - 12 am


Project Exploration
4511 S Evans Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
Natasha Smith-Walker
Project Exploration (PE) is a nationally recognized science education and youth development organization that strives to ensure every Chicago student becomes STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) literate, promotes a diversified STEM workforce in Chicago and works to mitigate the poverty that pervades Chicago’s STEM deserts. PE uses STEM education to address challenges to equity, access, and opportunity in public and higher education and the professional STEM world. PE makes STEM education accessible through:
Out-of-school time programs that empower and mentor underrepresented minority youth.
Community-building connections for schools, students and families through leadership in the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative (STEM Co-op).
PRIMARY CAUSE AREA(S) OF PROJECT: Community Development, Education
Project Exploration proposes to provide opportunities to develop and grow skills within the nonprofit sector that supports providing marginalized youth with high quality science, technology and engineering programs. The four areas the interns will support will be in development, program operations, events and communication/marketing.

The support in these four areas will aid Project Exploration to build capacity to identify viable funding, provide additional support to increase program quality, create opportunities for events both to highlight programming as well as fundraising and continue to support communication and marketing strategies. The projects and work that interns will be doing will be a continuation of what was developed by previous 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 SJP interns.

Project Exploration was founded as a science education program however its rooted in social justice. To bring hands on, high quality science programming to traditionally undeserved populations such as girls, young people of color and communities that have few to no opportunities to engage in science programming.

The SJP project has three distinct roles. Program operation efforts will support the marketing and recruitment of STEM professionals. This intern will work closely with the Program Director to identify appropriate tools, venues, portals, etc to market the need to bring in skilled professionals that are interested in working/volunteering in Project Exploration programs. This intern will also support program planning as well as evaluation. This role was developed as a result of the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 SJP program intern continued the process as well as developing further.

The marketing/communication intern will support the communication efforts of the organization to ensure donors, supporter, partners and communities are abreast of what the organization is accomplishing. Working with the program team (program director, program coordinator and STEM facilitators) the intern will collect pictures, blog posts and stories to refine and then work with the executive director to prepare monthly e-blasts, develop a quarterly newsletter template, develop an annual reporting template, update PE website with program specific pages and support helping to develop giving communications.

Development efforts will support the ongoing research, stewardship and identification of funding supports. The executive director will be the primary contact. Interns will be trained to use Salesforce a CRM system to help initiate, monitor and track progress of any development efforts. In addition, the intern will work closely with the grants writer to help in the set up and delivery of any online applications. This role was designed and modified after the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 SJP development intern expanded the role.

Event planning support is a combination of helping the program team with upcoming program related events such as our annual leadership retreat, STEM Fest, Reflection of Knowledge and Girls Health and Science Day. The aforementioned events help further expand participant learning and skill development. The Event planning intern will work closely with the Program Coordinator. In addition, the Event planning intern will work with the executive director and board members to helps support three micro events.
1) What clear, meaningful learning opportunities will be provided for the intern(s) to gain knowledge and perspectives about their own social identities as well as those from diverse populations?
Project Exploration is a science education nonprofit that is rooted in social justice principles. We value the opportunity to provide minority children, youth, girls and underrepresented communities with access, equity and opportunity to engage in high quality science education in the out of school time. Through intern activities we have opportunities to engage them in conversation related to the work they perform. Through these conversations we have in the past been able to help interns reflect on their personal experiences and the implication it has on their own development.
2) How will your project help interns learn the systemic and structural needs of the marginalized communities and populations that your organization targets?
The projects that we have for interns intimately involve them in becoming familiar with the needs of the communities we serve. Each project connects interns with staff and eventually with one another. The projects will also have the interns need to research specific roles in nonprofits that will also help support their learning.

3) What skills/tools will the intern(s) gain that will help them learn and practice working with diverse communities to change systemic and structural inequities? This can include civic/political exposure and engagement.
As a nonprofit that provides science programs key ways that we will engage interns to gain skills is directly connected through their work. Development efforts will hone their research skills and ability to distill information relevant to fundraising efforts. Marketing/Communication efforts will have interns interview and meet with participants and partners to being to develop contextual stories behind student participation. Program efforts will work directly with program team members to help increase STEM professional networks.

4) What consistent duties and/or tasks are associated with the project?
Work plans are developed for interns to have clear understanding of what they will be responsible for completing during the year of service. Weekly meetings are conducted with check ins. In addition, we work to plan team meetings that include interns attending. They become a part of the staff and have ownership of their work.
5) Finally, please describe how the results of their project(s) will help the intern(s) understand the impact of their work within the community/population.
Since the projects are directly connected with supporting the organization to meet its mission the interns will become fully involved and therefore will see the results of their efforts.
Oral History with E.D., Review of Annual Report, Literature Review
Field-based Projects, Direct Service Delivery, Program Delivery
Fund Development, Event Planning, Social Media Communications, Web Design, Community Trainings, Program Evaluation, Community Organizing, Resource Development
Review of Legislature, Review of Public Policy
Initial Meeting, Resume/CV
CTA Red Line, CTA Green Line
#4, #43RD, #47TH
Monday 8am-5pm, Tuesday 8am-5pm, Wednesday 8am-5pm, Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-5pm
Please enter specific days and times if different from days and times listed above:

Bookings no longer allowed on this date.