Lee University was awarded a 2012 grant from the Dr. Scholl Foundation to fund a Chicago summer internship program in May of 2013.
Over the past 10 years Lee students have been given the opportunity to participate in internships in the city of Chicago. Originally this program entailed seven weeks of student teaching internships. However, within the past five years the program has shifted to a service focus.
Students now spend three weeks in Chicago participating in a summer internship through which they fulfill class requirements and earn 20 service hours by serving an inner-city Chicago community. While the internships have varied over the years, the past two years students have worked with Richard Edwards Elementary School and New Life Centers (NLC) of Chicago.
Throughout the 10 years that Lee has offered this program, the Dr. Scholl Foundation has awarded grants totaling $55,000 to allow 41 students to serve and intern in Chicago. The newly awarded 2012 grant will provide an additional $5,000 for four students to participate next summer.
The foundation was established in 1947 by William M. Scholl, M.D. Dr. Scholl was born to Indiana dairy farmers and earned his M.D. degree in 1904. While Scholl never practiced medicine, he is best known for creating one of the world’s best-known name brands through his successful Scholl Manufacturing Company. In 1947 he created the Dr. Scholl Foundation which aims to provide financial assistance to “organizations committed to improving our world” and has since contributed millions of dollars to organizations that reflect that mission. When Scholl died in 1968 he left the greater part of his estate to the foundation.
In May 2012, a grant from the foundation allowed four Lee students to intern in Chicago by providing each student with $1,250 to help cover cost of tuition and expenses. The students who participated in the 2012 Chicago service internship include Corey Greer, Megan Grebe, Michelle Hernandez, and Paige Dement. These students were also joined by Karina Castro, a 2011 participant and scholarship recipient who returned as a team leader.
The program is currently directed by Dr. Rolando Cuellar, associate professor of intercultural studies at Lee. Dr, Cuellar recruits students, teaches the class that is connected to the experience and arranges the internship opportunities in Chicago.
During the course of their internship these students worked as English tutors and teachers assistants during the school days at Richard Edwards Elementary School. When they were not volunteering at the school they were working in an after-school program at the NLC in Humboldt Park. They also assisted the NLC with the “Bling” project teaching women and girls’ jewelry-making skills.
“After living and serving among the poor, our students have returned with a greater understanding of the major challenges that people face in the inner-city as well as a deeper passion to serve Christ in similar contexts where they could promote the values of God’s kingdom” said Dr. Cuellar. “This internship has been of mutual benefit not only to Lee students but also to the children and young people to whom they have made an impact through New Life Community Church of Humboldt Park and Richard Edwards Elementary School.”
For more information about the Dr. Scholl Foundation please visit http://www.drschollfoundation.com
For more information about the Chicago Service Internship Program please contact Dr. Cuellar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-5120.