Today’s college students find themselves in a tricky situation: it’s basically impossible to get a job without some sort of internship experience, but not everyone can afford to spend a summer working for free. One solution is, of course, paid internships — but too often non-profits and community organizations are already operating on shoestring budgets, and so can’t afford to pay a student for summer work.
But thanks to a mysterious, anonymous donor, students at Johns Hopkins have a way to earn money, rack up experience, and benefit their community. Each year since 2011, 50 students have signed on to work at Hopkins Community Impact Internships. They lots of support as they spend the summer working for Baltimore-based non-profits aimed at making the city a safer, cleaner, greener place — oh, and they also get $5,000.
None of this would’ve been possible without the initial $1.25 million donation from the anonymous donor, who just re-upped his/her commitment to the program with another $1 million. The donor’s generosity seems to have inspired others to give as well; our favorite mayoral candidate (and Hopkins grad) Wes Moore ponied up $25,000 to ensure that interns could continue their work into the school year.
This year’s crop of CI interns are working at a West Baltimore recovery home for homeless, drug-addicted women; on a needle-exchange van; and at an arts-based youth center in Waverly. “This has opened my eyes to how beautiful this city is,” said rising senior Vissagan Gopalakrishnan, one of this year’s CI interns. “Baltimore has a unique character and an elegant history that, unfortunately, I’m only realizing now.”
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