**Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Flint Community Initiative Internship Program has been canceled for summer 2020.**

Flint Community Initiative Internship Program:

Leveraging community assets for Flint’s future

downtown Flint Michigan

Service Learning Opportunity in Flint

Minimum of $1000 scholarship is included!

The Flint Community Initiative prepares and invests MSU’s most vital resource -- the time, gifts and talents of students passionate to make a difference – to engage in meaningful work in nonprofit community organizations in Flint while providing our students with a unique opportunity develop skills in hands-on, collaborative community development projects.

The Context: Flint in the Aftermath of the Water Crisis

Flint Michigan farmer's market

Precipitated by cost-saving measures that led to the poisoning of the water supply, the Flint Water Crisis has served as a catalyst for community change during the past five years. Yet like many Rustbelt cities, the city had struggled with the effects of decades-long economic disinvestment prior to the crisis. The magnitude of the crisis, however, spurred a bottoms-up, collaborative approach to creating authentic community development as a path forward to enhance the health and well-being of the city and its residents.

Our Mission

The Flint Community Initiative began its internship program during the Summer of 2019. At the core of our mission is the belief that the key to revitalizing distressed areas is to look at neighborhoods and communities not for their deficits but for their assets. Our internship program pairs students and leaders of nonprofit community and civic organizations to engage in collaborative, community-driven projects that help to expand community assets and contribute to a thriving future for Flint residents.

Program Essentials

  • The program runs for 10 weeks during the summer plus one intensive weekend orientation (May 29 - August 7, 2020).
  • Faculty and staff work with community partners to place students.
  • Students will stay in University of Michigan-Flint housing at no charge to the student.
  • Students will receive a minimum of $1,000 scholarship to defray living, work, and transportation expenses.
  • Students take a 3 credit project-based skills course (SW 492 Flint Community Initiative: Asset-Based Approaches to Community Work), plus 3-6 internship credits. The 3+3 CR option is commensurate with a 30-32 hour work week.
  • Faculty leaders work with students and their community supervisors to achieve a common goal: the completion of one or more products from a high-impact project that build upon the ways our nonprofit agency partners utilize and leverage existing assets to address social, political, and economic priorities within the community.
  • During the internship, students will have opportunities to attend exciting cultural, professional, recreational, or social events around the city.
  • Open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students across every major and College.

Proposed Community Projects

Neighborhood Group Capacity Building Tool Kit - Students will work with the Neighborhood Engagement Hub and Flint residents to create a tool kit that will help residents grow their capacity for community work.

Resource Guide for Improving Neighborhood Conditions - Students will work with the City of Flint Planning Department and Blight Department to further develop a resource directory to guide Flint residents on how to navigate the various agencies and organizations that provide material resources to Flint residents. Students will also develop the framework for a Flint Problem Tracker App, which will streamline and refine the reporting procedures that accompany the resource guide.

City of Flint Parks History - Students will work with Keep Genesee County Beautiful to develop a comprehensive history of each of the City of Flint parks by conducting material research, interviewing Flint residents, and working with Park Adopters.

Homeownership Impact Study - Students will work with Genesee County Habitat for Humanity to interview residents in the homeownership program to better understand the impact of housing as a social determinant of health, learn from residents served through Habitat's programs, and help illuminate the impact of Habitat's organization. Students will engage with residents as well as create meaningful marketing materials to better engage donors, volunteers, and community partners.

Flint Unity March & Community Expo/Teen Summit - Students will work with WOW Outreach to support an annual Flint community event that brings together youth, adults, and law enforcement to work together. Students will work with community volunteers and agencies to help residents, "Create a Community with no Tolerance for Violence". Students can participate in the Peace Rally and will assist in connecting residence with community resources, education, and provide support to families being impacted by violence.

Application and Contact Info

Complete the College of Social Science Study Away application. Select Flint Community Initiative at the summer semester programs dropdown menu. Please include a current résumé and a brief statement of interest describing reasons for applying to the program, career goals or specific interests, and internship preferences.

The Flint Community Initiative has no application fee and no program fee. Applications are due March 30, 2020.

To learn more about the program, contact: Monica Villarreal, villar42@msu.edu

The program runs May 29th - August 7th.

Scholars Showcase Ceremony at the Applewood Estate from Summer 2019

Please visit our Scholars Showcase Ceremony event page to learn more about our student's experiences during the summer of 2019.