The partnership between the Max A Shacknai COVE and the Upstate Institute started in 2015. This year we provided paid internships to federal work study–eligible students leading to lasting community outcomes and offering students who may not have the option to volunteer time at a nonprofit organization the opportunity to gain professional and leadership skills. Seven students worked with five community organizations: Partnership for Community Development (PCD), Village of Hamilton, Community Action Partnership, Hamilton Central School, and Arts at the Palace. This program allowed students interested in gaining a deeper experience in nonprofit administration gain hands-on, in-depth work in the local community. Projects provided capacity-building assistance to the organizations with which we partnered. One student helped to compile and analyze data from client satisfaction surveys, while another streamlined the organization’s website to increase communication with clients. Students working with the other organizations provided data analysis and technology assistance to increase communication and evidence-based decision-making for their organizations. We saw several win-win outcomes to this program in the first year and aim to continue to grow the program in future years to offer more internships with community outcomes.
Maggie McDonnell ’19 worked with Hamilton Central School to streamline their website. “Most rewarding of the experience so far has been the realization that while the tasks seem small at the moment, they all add up to keeping the parents and students accurately informed, and thus prove to be more significant than they seem,” she said.