Johnson State College has received $3,000 from Union Bank to launch a new fund to support students engaged in internships at area businesses and organizations. The new Student Internship Support Fund will provide grants to students to defray costs associated with internships, such as transportation to work sites, wardrobe needs and mandatory background checks.
“This generous gift will help remove the financial barriers to internship opportunities,” says Ellen Hill, coordinator of internship programs at JSC. “Students often cannot afford to take unpaid internships, or they may have to take a paid job outside their field simply because they don’t have the funds to support their placement.”
Hill cites 2014 JSC graduate Emily Cloutier an example of the power of internships. Cloutier interned at the Union Bank while completing her degree in business management and now works as a commercial loan assistant there. “I had always given my ‘all’ in school, but my internship experience made my ‘all’ a whole lot more and opened doors to my career,” Cloutier says.
Johnson State College has a long and vibrant history placing student interns with businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. In the 2013-2014 academic year alone, 350 JSC students interned a total of 53,124 hours, earning 1,329 college credits. This past fall, 68 students interned at 45 sites, taking on such roles as a credit analyst at the Union Bank, a behavioral interventionist at Laraway Youth & Family Services, and a public relations intern at Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library.
Hill notes that internships are “valuable partnerships that benefit students and employers alike. Among other benefits, employers get to try out prospective employees, obtain the help they need to complete special projects, and gain new perspectives from young adults,” she says.
“The gift from Union Bank will make more of these partnerships possible, enabling students to connect the classroom to the community, test drive their career and inspire their career path after college,” she adds.
The fund has been enthusiastically received by JSC students. “Fourteen students applied for grants within days of learning about the Union Bank gift,” says Lauren Philie, director of development at JSC, adding that the college is reaching out to other businesses and organizations for gifts to supplement the bank’s donation and grow the fund.
Based in Morrisville, Union Bank operates 17 banking offices, two loan centers and 25 ATMs in northern Vermont and northwestern New Hampshire.
To contribute to the JSC Student Internship Support Fund, contact Lauren Philie at email@example.com or 802-635-1657. For information about the JSC internship program, contact Ellen Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-635-1439.