15:15 PM

Through intern scholarship program, 6 Hawks receive aid for internships

Internships are vital to the success of both university students and the companies that will someday employ them, as students get the opportunity to apply their knowledge and competencies learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. Although most college students are ready and willing to put time and their best efforts into an internship, the majority of them can’t afford to work without pay.

“Internships are part of many degree requirements at University of Houston-Clear Lake,” said Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships Natalie Pecknold. “But not every internship provider is able to offer students pay. In order to alleviate the financial burden students might take by accepting an unpaid internship, we are now able to offer students $1,300 paid scholarships for their internships.”

Pecknold said the inaugural cohort of UH-Clear Lake fall 2023 Intern Scholarship recipients are Dominique Bell, interning at Psychology Works; Kariana Ellingsen, interning at Malaty Therapy; Millicent Hendrix, interning at the Montrose Center; Nancy Izaguirre, interning at Pasadena Independent School District on the Social Work Crisis team; Liliana Longoria, placed in Galveston I.S.D.; and Trent MacArthur, placed in Deer Park I.S.D.

Longoria, who transferred to UHCL to pursue her bachelor’s degree in education, plans to graduate in December 2023. She said her goal to become a teacher came from her own childhood experience as an undocumented student.

“I came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of four, and I’m a DACA student,” she said. “I decided to become a teacher because when my family came here, everything was new. The only place I felt safe besides at home was in my bilingual classroom.”

She remembered feeling welcome and supported in that classroom, and she grew up knowing she wanted to help other children like her to feel the same. “That’s why I know the best place for me is to go back into education,” she said.

“When I got the news that I was receiving this scholarship, I teared up. Prior to receiving it, I thought about how much everything would cost, and I didn’t know how I was going to do it,” she continued. “Receiving this scholarship meant I didn’t have to worry about that; I can fully dedicate myself to becoming a better future educator.”

For Bell, who is working toward his Master of Arts in Family Therapy, the intern scholarship has made it possible for him to complete this requirement for his degree.

“I’m interning at Psychology Works in Lake Jackson, where I live,” he said. “I am blind and I’m not able to drive. I have to have someone take me wherever I’m going, and gas and food are expensive. Sometimes I’m in the office all day, and once I’m there, I can’t leave. This scholarship makes a big difference in my situation.”

He added that since he has to be driven about a half hour to get to and from his internship, the scholarship enables him to focus on completing his internship. “I am definitely going to get what I need to become a therapist when I am done,” he said. “I was very surprised and very grateful to receive the scholarship.”

Longoria said she is working with the dual-language teacher at Weis Middle School in Galveston Independent School District, her own home school district. “I’m working with the newcomer teacher, handling new, non-English speaking students,” she said. “I already have a job lined up in Weis Middle School in January of 2024. I know first hand what it’s like to be new, and I want my students to know that achieving a higher education is possible for them.”

To connect with resources that can help you find an internship, visit www.uhcl.edu/strategic-partnerships/