Division of Student Affairs

SECU Fellowship Interns Gain Experience, Build Community

Posted on Thursday, October 7th, 2021 by Jolie Helton under Inside Student Affairs, Spartan Story. Tags:
SECU Fellowship Intern Jarriet Smith, a junior from Greensboro, worked at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Alamance County

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the SECU Foundation, 20 UNCG students were able to gain valuable real world experience while making an impact on our community this summer. These students – all North Carolina natives – were placed in 18 different organizations across Guilford, Alamance, Forsyth, Orange, and Rockingham Counties. With facilitation from the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement and Career and Professional Development, both Division of Student Affairs departments, the Fellows developed skills such as classroom and curriculum development, volunteer management, social media, marketing and website development, grant writing, programming, assessment, and teaching. Each student received a $4,800 stipend for their work contributions.

Aaliyah Matthews, a senior from Greensboro, worked with the YWCA of Greensboro

SECU Public Fellows are passionate about civic and community engagement. Students were expected to develop and leverage skill sets needed to help organizations reach their mission and in turn make a positive impact on the community and/or provide benefit to the public. This year’s cohort interacted with impact areas such as social justice, homelessness, affordable housing, access to healthy food, animal welfare, immigrants and refugees, domestic violence, youth and adult education, mentoring, outdoor education, and democratic engagement. Highlights of tasks accomplished include managing the daily operations of an Emergency Family Housing Shelter, developing curriculum and teaching weekly English classes, facilitating teen summer camp programming, and securing sponsors and donors for organization support.

Brianna Garcia, a junior from Greensboro, was placed with Love Community Development Corporation in Winston-Salem. She operated client intake procedures, took a grant writing course, and performed grant researching and writing. She also assisted with website development and community food distribution boxes. The experience allowed her to get a glimpse at her desired career path. “This experience has deepened my passion for social work and my drive to do my part to serve communities in need,” Brianna said. “Brianna’s personality, skills, and experience allowed her to make a great impact, not only in helping build the capacity of our organization, but also made an impact on our staff, clients, and volunteers,” said Patricia Gilliam, RSVP director at Love CDC. 

Carina Moreno, a junior from High Point, teaching an ESL class at GateCity Dream Center

Dominique Anderson, a senior from Henderson, and Jaear McClendon, a senior from Peachland, worked with Compass Greensboro, which was founded in 2020 to provide life, social, and vocation skills to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They designed and built a classroom space, developed curriculums for new programming, and managed social media, email and outreach, among other things. “The community that I served with this summer taught me about resilience, kindness, and appreciation. They showed me that being different is an advantage in the workforce because you can bring in new ideas,” said Dominique. Jaear was hired by the organization after completing the internship. “This year’s internship experience not only allowed me to accomplish one of my main goals of 2021, but it also provided me with inspiration for the future,” he said. Dominique and Jaear were supervised by Kathryn Hubert, a 2012 UNCG graduate. “We were very thankful for [Dominique and Jaear’s] hard work, flexibility, and willingness to jump in where we needed help the most,” she said. 

For more information on the SECU Public Fellow Internship and how to apply, visit go.uncg.edu/secu. To see some of the interns’ experiences through their own lens, check out the SECU Fellows highlight on Student Affairs’ Instagram page.

Tatianna Wilkins, a senior from Charlotte, was placed with the Center for New North Carolinians

2021 SECU Public Fellows and Placement Sites

  • YWCA of Greensboro | Aaliyah Matthews, Senior, Human Development & Family Studies
  • Burlington Housing Authority | Alexis Kirkpatrick, Junior, Psychology
  • League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad | Alliana Avancena, Junior, Psychology
  • Love Community Development Corporation | Brianna Garcia, Junior, Social Work
  • GateCity Dream Center | Carina Moreno, Junior, Communications Sciences & Disorders
  • SHIELD Mentor Program | Destiny King, Sophomore, Music Education
  • Burlington Parks & Recreation | Destiny Thompson, Sophomore, Kinesiology
  • Compass Greensboro | Dominique Anderson, Senior, Biology
  • Compass Greensboro | Jaear McClendon, Senior, Political Science (Pre-Law)
  • Reading Connections | El Nealson, Sophomore, Community & Therapeutic Recreation
  • Reading Connections | Ireland Lynch, Senior, Communication Studies & Spanish
  • Habitat for Humanity of Orange County | Janasia Clark, Sophomore
  • Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Alamance County | Jarriet Smith, Junior, Recreation & Parks Management
  • Horsepower Therapeutic Learning Center | Kathryn Meres, Sophomore, Psychology
  • Greensboro Farmers Market, Inc. | Shannon Behn, Senior, Political Science
  • National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, Inc. | Shekinah Gonzales, Sophomore, Anthropology & Sociology
  • Center for New North Carolinians | Tatianna Wilkins, Senior, Psychology
  • Guilford County Family Justice Center | Taylar Garrett, Senior, Human Development & Family Studies
  • Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network | Triniti Ware, Sophomore, Marketing
  • East Greensboro NOW | Tyler Blaise, Senior, Psychology