Scripps Howard Foundation internship program continues to benefit students

For immediate release…
Friday – Dec. 20, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - An internship program that has given students from Northern Kentucky University a chance to do marketing and public relations for nonprofits in our region has reached a milestone, with its 100th nonprofit participant this year.

Since the Scripps Howard Foundation Nonprofit Internship Program started in 2002, 465 students from NKU, Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati have interned with various nonprofits in the community, where they’ve honed their marketing and communication skills.

With the 100th nonprofit this year, the Scripps Howard Foundation also crossed the $1 million mark in its investment in the paid internship program. And demand is growing, according to Patty Cottingham, vice president/administration for the Cincinnati-based foundation.

“The Scripps Howard Foundation's Nonprofit Internship Program is developing future community leaders,” Cottingham said. “Leaders who understand the needs of those less fortunate and want to give back through either a nonprofit career, volunteering or financial support. Or even better - all three.”

More than 30 local nonprofits are placing students in internships that will begin in January. NKU students can visit http://civicengagement.nku.edu to find applications and to find out which positions have not been filled. Students who apply preferably have a communications-related major and are of junior or senior standing.

The goal of the program is captured in this description, included with each posting: “Students with the required skills who are interested in learning about philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, adding work samples to their portfolio and making a meaningful work contribution should apply.”

Rees Storm, manager of internships and co-ops for the NKU College of Informatics, said she believes that the applied learning provided by internships and co-ops makes students stand out in job interviews and  graduate school applications. “In addition to developing professionally, what better way to develop personally by discovering strengths and weaknesses 'on the job' in a lower-risk setting where a student is mentored and exposed to a variety of potential opportunities and ways to shine,” Storm said.

As valuable as the internships are to the students, they are also valuable to the nonprofit. Tracy Fuchs is the director of marketing and special events for the Family Nurturing Center, which organizes programs designed to end the cycle of child abuse by promoting individual well-being and healthy family relationships. She has been a part of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s internship program for several years and, Fuchs said, she has never been disappointed in the quality of the interns.

“Our past six interns have all been students from Northern Kentucky University, and they all had one consistent quality: dedication,” Fuchs said. “They dedicate themselves to our mission, their job responsibilities and to learning about all of our programs to treat and prevent all forms of child abuse and neglect. Our NKU student interns have all been intelligent, demonstrate a commitment to hard work, know how to balance a busy schedule, show initiative and aspire to achieve. I believe a good portion of these qualities were brought out and molded by the instructors and administrators at the university.”

Fuchs said that one of her past NKU student interns, Emily Condit, had the opportunity to participate in the program and used her NKU connections to greatly benefit the Family Nurturing Center in her time there. “Emily reached out to the new president of NKU and met with him to discuss his involvement and support for our Blue Ribbon 5K Race,” Fuchs said. “President Mearns not only ran in the race, he used his social media accounts to promote his participation and brought five additional runners to the race. Because of his involvement, we were also able to secure additional NKU support through registrations and an in-kind food donation.”

Visit http://civicengagement.nku.edu to view the applications available for the spring semester. Continue to check the site throughout the year for postings about summer and fall internships.

### NKU ###

Follow NKU news on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nkuedu.