July 21st, 2015

Yawkey Foundations Fund Internships

To benefit students seeking nonprofit experience

It’s a first for BU, and a milestone for students interested in the nonprofit world. Thanks to a $10 million pledge from the Yawkey Foundations last fall, BU sophomores and juniors will soon be able to engage in nonpaying area internships during the academic year at any Boston area nonprofit—without worrying about a paycheck.

Summer internships outside of Boston would differ slightly in that they would need to fit within one of the Yawkey Foundations’ six key issue areas: health care, education, human services, youth and amateur athletics, arts and culture, or conservation and wildlife.

In the wake of the Yawkey gift, BU President Robert A. Brown announced that the University’s Center for Student Services at 100 Bay State Road would become the Yawkey Center, in honor of former Red Sox owners and Boston philanthropists Tom and Jean Yawkey.

The “Yawkey interns,” starting in 2016, will be paid through the Yawkey endowment, with the program administered by the University’s Center for Career Development (CCD) in the Yawkey Center. Students selected for the program will work closely with CCD staff during the course of their internship to set goals, discuss their progress, and write reflective essays.

“The program is intended to provide a living-allowance stipend to students who want to be able to do unpaid internships at nonprofits, which can be difficult financially if they aren’t in a position to work for no pay,” says Eleanor Cartelli, CCD associate director for marketing and communications. “This program bridges that gap.” Students accepted into the program will receive a stipend of $1,500 during the academic year and $3,000 for a summer internship.

A pilot version of the program will launch this summer, with up to 12 applicants receiving funding. The aim of the program is eventually to have 80 to 100 sophomores and juniors enrolled each year. The agreement between BU and the Yawkey Foundations cites BU’s “long and proud tradition of encouraging students to engage in service-based learning in the community.”

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