March 20, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 13

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    Public-service internships available through Summer Links

    Thanks to a new internship program sponsored by the University Community Service Center, 30 University students interested in public service will have the opportunity this summer to have full- or part-time paid internships with community service organizations in Chicago.

    "Summer Links is an intensive 10-week program for undergraduate and graduate students committed to public change, community building and social change," said Michelle Obama, Associate Dean of Student Services and Director of the University Community Service Center. "The goal is to match the students with internships in local elementary schools and high schools, non-profit organizations and various community-based agencies throughout the city."

    Through an application and interview process, students will be selected and then matched with schools and organizations that need tutors or program assistants. Students selected for the program will interview with community organizations to achieve the best matches between student interests and community needs.

    Stipends will be provided for all participants: $4,000 for full-time and $2,000 for part-time participants. Housing will be available in Maclean Hall at the cost of $375 for the duration of the program, which will run from June 23 through Aug. 29.

    Summer Links will begin with a week-long orientation and training session. Throughout the program, students will have the chance to come together once a week for seminars and discussions designed to help them become more effective community builders.

    "We expect that the process will be competitive for students as well as for community organizations," said Obama. "Both will submit applications. Students will be screened by an interview panel, and community groups will be asked to provide specific job descriptions and commit to adequate supervision."

    Due to President Clinton's America Reads initiative, which seeks to attract 1 million reading tutors to help teach all American children how to read by third grade, there has been an increase in money available for universities and colleges that participate in the Federal Work/Study Program, Obama said.

    "The President's plan calls for involving college students through the work/study program by paying them to serve as reading tutors for students in the primary grades. To prepare for new regulations related to this plan, the University of Chicago is increasing from 48 to 146 the number of work/study students participating in tutoring and community service programs in 1997-98. The Summer Links program is the first in what we hope will be a number of new programs available to our students," she said.

    The application deadline for Summer Links is Friday, April 4. Work/study eligibility is not a requirement for participation in the program. For more information, contact the University Community Service Center at 753-GIVE or e-mail UCSC@uchicago.edu.