RTK Scholars - Paid Summer Internships

In 2003, the American Savings Foundation created a paid summer internship program, allowing our Robert T. Kenney scholars to gain valuable career experience by partnering with local nonprofits which we fund through our grantmaking program.

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Through a competitive grant process, local nonprofit agencies apply for funding for positions that have varied from communications, education, human resources, information technology, and nonprofit management.      

Scholars are then able to apply for these positions through a competitive application process. For many of our scholars, this helps them develop their resume writing skills, and may even be their first experience with the professional interview process.

Kwabena Afum held an internship at the Hospital for Special Care in 2015. At the time he was an Allied Health major at the University of Connecticut. He described his experience as one he will look back on as being vital in helping shape the trajectory of his young professional career.

Through this internship program, Kwabena realized one of his key strengths lie in his interpersonal skills and decided to pursue a career that combined his medical knowledge from his undergraduate degree with his personal strengths. Kwabena went on to receive his Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications with a focus in Digital Marketing from Suffolk University.  He is now a Marketing Manager for US Rheumatology at Amgen, a biotechnology company.

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The paid summer internship program has run every summer since its inception. However, in 2020 it appeared that the Covid-19 pandemic may put a hold on this valuable program. Due to the ingenuity and flexibility of the host agencies, thirteen students were safely able to experience a paid summer internship.

Mahmuda Chowdhury was one of the scholars that worked during this time as an Assistant Summer Youth Coordinator for the Summer Youth Employment & Learning Program at Opportunities Industrialization Center in New Britain.

“With this internship I was not only able to work through the worst economic crisis we have ever seen, but also given the chance to work with our next generation of leaders and workers.”

The paid summer internship program has now given a total of 274 scholars real-world, firsthand career experience. This is just one way the Robert T. Kenney Scholarship Program strives to be more than just a check for our scholars.    

Since 2003, American Savings Foundation has awarded $1.5 million for paid summer internships at local nonprofits for our Robert T. Kenney scholars.

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