Alberta has introduced a Serving Communities Internship Program (SCiP) that will award Alberta post-secondary students a $1,000 bursary for completing an internship at one of the province’s non-profit or voluntary organizations.
“This program is a great way to support students and organizations,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “The organizations get access to the specialized skills they need and the students get to build their resumés while giving back to their communities.”
The program will run in collaboration with Volunteer Alberta, which will work with organizations across the province to create meaningful internship experiences with two goals in mind: Allow students to gain practical experience in their fields and help non-profit or voluntary sector organizations access a new pool of talented, skilled individuals.
“Students need opportunities that go beyond licking stamps and filing papers. By contributing energy and enthusiasm in a meaningful way, they will move the non-profit/voluntary sector forward,” said Karen Lynch, executive director of Volunteer Alberta. “The Serving Communities Internship Program not only invests in the brain power and new approaches the sector needs but also positions Alberta’s students to become some of the best-informed about the relevance and integration of the sector into every single Albertan’s life.”
The idea for the program was sparked by the Alberta Students’ Executive Council, a group of student leaders representing the province’s colleges, technical institutes and undergraduate universities. The council saw it as a constructive way to help students with the costs of their education.
“We are thrilled to see the needs of Alberta students being addressed by the government of Alberta in a way that benefits both the non-profit/voluntary sector and post-secondary students,” said Timothy Jobs, chair of Alberta Students’ Executive Council. “It started as a solution-based idea to increase affordability to our post-secondary system and stands to benefit thousands of Alberta students in communities across the province.”
The Serving Communities Internship Program will be open to post-secondary students enrolled in any certificate, diploma, undergraduate, graduate or PhD program at one of Alberta’s 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions. The program will welcome traditional internships and virtual internships, so students can offer their skills from anywhere in the province.
Volunteer Alberta is already working with community organizations to identify potential internship opportunities. The program will be open for student applications in the fall. In the first year of its three-year pilot, the program will award up to 500 bursaries, said the government.
More information can be found at www.joinscip.ca.
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