Honors students have until Friday night to apply for a unique internship that will allow them to serve the South Dallas community.
ACU Honors in Dallas at CitySquare is a summer internship program designed to provide Honors students with an integrated educational opportunity as they live, work and learn in Dallas.
Honors students of any major can apply as interns for the AmeriCorps CitySquare program. Interns would be placed in areas of education, hunger and other community needs through both Food on the Move Corps and Education Corps internships. Service would include delivering meals to thousands of kids in low income communities and working within educational summer camp programs for the youth.
In order to prepare for the experience, students must take an Honors colloquium at the beginning of the semester. Dr. Stephen Johnson, executive director of ACU CitySquare, teaches the course titled “The Wealth of the Poor.” CitySquare CEO Larry James will be a guest speaker at the colloquium. Students will receive one upper-level credit that could count towards Honors requirements. Their internship may be used to fulfill university or departmental requirements as well. Many departments offer course credit for internships, and it is encouraged that students speak with their academic advisors about this option.
The AmeriCorps internships lasts eight weeks, beginning May 30, 2017. Unlike many internships, which are voluntary in nature, this opportunity compensates the students for their time and work in Downtown Dallas. Interns who serve 40 hours a week for the eight-week period will earn a living allowance of $1,800 and an education award of $1,222.22 to go toward loans or tuition.
ACU offers student housing at Ashby Commons. Students are expected to cover cost of housing, roughly $900, transportation to and from Dallas as well as general living expenses. The colloquium is covered by ACU block tuition or by the student. All activity costs associated with the colloquium are covered by the Honors College.
Students who apply will be interviewed by the Honors College shortly after Spring Break. Selected students will be referred to the AmeriCorps coordinator at CitySquare.
“They will have a strong possibility of landing the AmeriCorps CitySquare internship once they’re admitted to our program,” said Honors College Dean Dr. Jason Morris.
The ACU Honors College will assist students in applying for an internship, but ultimately it is up to students to find their own internship placement.
Qualified applicants will be contacted by the CitySquare AmeriCorps office and invited to an interview session.
Interns must be at least 17 years old, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have reliable transportation, be able to pass a background check, must be able to attend required pre-service orientation and have a commitment to make a difference, according to AmeriCorps.
The first Honors internship program was offered last year as students travelled to Washington D.C. ACU’s space in Dallas and relationship with CitySquare helped motivate the decision to launch a similar internship program in Dallas.
Morris and his staff worked on the program in consultation with ACU administration, including the Provost Dr. Rhodes and his office. They also had meetings with Dr. Johnson.
“As the Dean, one of the things that I think is really important is for our students to have great opportunities,” said Morris. “I really like to encourage our students to leverage their summers to their advantage… because I think it can help them get into the grad school program that they want to get into, or land the first job that they want to. So, in part of helping them be strategic with their summers and providing opportunities, we saw two places here, one in D.C, one in Dallas, that we could step in as a college and try to open some great opportunities for them.”
Morris said he is curious to see the number of students who apply this first time around. He said he would be really happy to see at least ten students go.
“This one in particular is one where we like to encourage our students to use their gifts and talents to serve others,” he said. “This to me was a great opportunity for students in the Honors College to step in and go, ‘well I want to gain experience for my own career and my own future, but I also want to do that in a way that serves other, especially people that are battling poverty in south Dallas.’”