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Community Capacity Internships

Put your civic and career skills into practice while completing capacity-building projects as interns with local community organizations.

In partnership with community organizations, the Office of Community Engagement offers  70 hour funded internships during Fall and Spring semester as well as extended internships over Summer break. Each intern completes a capacity-building project wit their partner organization and receives a grant equal to $15/hr.

Spring Internship timeline
Spring 24 Internship Timeline
December 8 Community requests for spring interns are due
February 13 Student applications are due
March 4- May 3 Interns serve in their community placements
Summer Internship timeline
Summer 24 Internship Timeline
February 1 Community requests for summer interns are due
March 20 Student applications are due
May - August Interns serve in their community placements, schedules vary

Volunteers working at garden fence

 As a funded intern, you will learn about the local community and your partner organization, refine your career competencies, and strengthen your active citizenship. Weekly reflections help you measure your learning and progress.

Past Internship Reflections

Read reflections from former interns to learn more about their experiences.

Student reflections on internships
Botanical Garden Butterfly Festival Intern

"What has stood out the most to me so far in my internship with the Williamsburg Botanical Garden is the passion of the people that I am working with. I am the highest paid person organizing the annual Butterfly Festival because everyone else is a volunteer. Most of the other people on the organizing team are retirees. Most are Master Gardeners or Master Naturalists and as such they bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the group. They are very passionate about native plants and getting the community involved with nature. A major asset is their professional experience. The last skill that I want to build on during my internship is my confidence working with more experienced adults as a peer and equal collaborator. Most of my life “adults” have been a separate group and it is hard to break that mentality and learn to act confidently and to value my opinions as equally valid. This group of organizers has been very welcoming and accepting of my suggestions so far. I believe that this adjustment will happen easily with a little time."

 James City County Planning Intern

"Through this internship I have learned an incredible amount about my community. The Planning division of James City County has a massive influence on the development of the built environment of the county that I think for most people goes completely unnoticed. Almost every new structure, road, or tree that any citizen wants to put on the ground must be thoroughly reviewed by the planners in this department. As a result, the regulations that inform the planners' decisions literally shape the way the county develops. These planners care very greatly about the community they serve and are always trying to help every citizen accomplish what they want to accomplish. One of the unexpected things I have been able to contribute to the Planning Division so far has been a fresh perspective on the topics they deal with routinely."

James City County Energy Intern

"I have been able to practice on digital technology since the basis of my entire internship is dealing with the platform used to track all energy of JCC, EnergyCap. I picked up how to use it relatively quickly, however, it has such incredible functionality and I doubt I would have the opportunity to use its capabilities to its full extent. Most of the work audit revolves around critical thinking. Looking at an excel spreadsheet and determining what is missing may be very challenging, but I see it as solving a puzzle. Being able to identify how much energy is missing and figuring out which variables are used to calculate which number is difficult without a proper methodology, however, once I am able to land at a proper answer it is very satisfying."

Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center Health Assessment Intern

"Working with the staff at the clinic has shown me how important patience is in the medical profession and the importance of working with a team. The internship itself has shown me their is plenty of ways to help out your local community, as long as you put in the effort to find those opportunities. I would never have known how in need Williamsburg public health clinics are adequate funding if it was not for this opportunity. As part of my path to becoming a physician, I hope to dedicate a certain amount of time to volunteer and fund-raise for safety-net clinics such as these. "

Guinea Heritage Association Community Museum Intern 

"This internship has taught me so much. I have learned more about this organization’s determination from working with them than I could have ever understood from reading about their journey. They are not just community members who care about their local history; they are a coalition of various skills that not only help their own goals, but educate other members of the community. This organization has also showed me the true art of fundraising – or, in other words, how difficult it is to achieve. Many elements are required: the right people, the right words, and the right timing.And even when all those elements occur, sometimes the outcome was not what we expected – what we’d hoped...But they never stopped. They showed me through their example how to work around setbacks, especially financial ones. We didn't’t receive funding for a bathroom? Too bad. Let’s get one of our own members in here, and cut the door ourselves. Can’t get an AC unit? Okay. We’ll gratefully take the one that a member of the community offered, and install it ourselves.This organization always kept their original goal in mind: to get this former general store back to what it was, and preserve it as a living museum. Everything that they have done has been in service of that goal, and I am truly honored that I got to be a part of it...
This internship experience has only solidified my career path. Working behind the scenes of a museum really opened my eyes to what a museum does. So much work goes into everything the audience sees. Mostly though, working this internship has made me realize what I want from my career – not just the right job, but the right people."

 VersAbility Resources Marketing and Development Intern 
"My experience at VersAbility resources thus far has been incredibly eye opening. I have learned a lot, both about the nature of marketing in a nonprofit setting and about my own strengths and weaknesses in a professional environment. I have definitely learned that being a marketer in a non-profit setting means really being a jack-of-all-trades...In addition to this, I have learned how to use Adobe Premiere, which is a really advanced video editing software that came in the software package that is on my work computer. This new skill is particularly exciting because video production and editing is one of my passions. It is really great to have knowledge of another video editing software. I have also learned how to create a communications plan for a nonprofit, as this is one of the first tasks that I was assigned at VersAbility."
Williamsburg Faith in Action Volunteer Programming Intern

"I am half way through my internship here at Faith in Action and honestly have a new lease on life. The perspective given to me from my tasks and interactions has developed me into a greater person with intercultural fluency, problem solving, and work ethic. My knowledge of the local, and even nation-wide, issues surrounding aging in this day in age is rapidly growing; this is exciting.  I have been interacting with Williamsburg seniors via the Faith in Action Internship and have really been enjoying myself when taking photos and documenting stories. I have been home in Richmond, Virginia for a couple of weekends and have noticed myself noticing senior citizenship and what that means."

 City of Williamsburg CARE Team Intern

"As one of my primary responsibilities throughout this internship was to create bilingual home visit lesson plans, I have learned a lot about effective communication and health education. From explaining how to contact area health clinics, to practicing proper asthma prevention techniques, a unique characteristic of all the education modules I helped develop is that they must be relevant to both parents and their children."

Marketing Intern at Bacon Street Youth and Family Services 

"I knew Williamsburg was a special place, but this internship has proved that time and time again. I have also noticed strengths in myself that I didn't know I had before... I have sat in on meetings with individuals who have such an impressive list of experience it almost makes me want to sit quietly and simply listen to what they have to say.  And in the beginning, that's exactly what I did. I was nervous to say something that sounded childish, but eventually, I worked up the courage to present a suggestion at a fundraising meeting and it was very well-received. It wasn't that I was expecting to be shut down, but I had a mindset that my opinion was not as valued. I have grown in this aspect, to have more confidence in myself and my opinions. I definitely see this as a strength that has grown within me already during my short time at Bacon Street."

Marketing and Social Media Intern at The Arc of Greater Williamsburg 

"Over the past ten weeks, I have been able to develop new skills and practice old ones, and I have gotten a better sense of what I may want my future career to look like. This summer has held many triumphs and successes for the whole team at The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, and I am especially proud of the way that I was able to help contribute to raising awareness about this Arc chapter. It was really one of my goals this summer to help community members understand what The Arc is all about through well-designed and consistent social media posts and advertisements for events."

Power of Produce Intern at The Williamsburg Farmers Market 

"Over the course of this summer, I have discovered in myself a confidence and leadership ability that until now has not been proven.  In past projects, I have always had some degree of leadership responsibilities; for example, I have led group projects with other students...On Saturday mornings I alone am in charge of directing children and their parents through that day’s activities.  As a result, I feel a strong sense of ownership over and responsibility to the POP Club, making its success all the more rewarding.  This feeling also motivates me to plan for the future of the club, so as to ensure its continued success when I am no longer involved."

Multi-media Training Intern at Literacy for Life

"One thing I've really learned is how important literacy skills really are, and how much of a service Literacy for Life really provides to the community. Re-interpreting these training sessions have made me look at the facts of low-literacy all across the country, such as how many prison inmates are low-literate, and by increasing their functional literacy skills, they are much less likely to return to prison...I knew these effects of low-literacy in a vague sense, but working with these numbers and integrating them into a cohesive training video made them so much more real."


These funded internships are made possible through the generous support of The William & Mary Parents Fund and other private donors. The program is coordinated by Elizabeth Miller.