Internship Grant Program
H AND is pleased to extend yet another valuable benefit to its members through its Annual Summer Internship Grant Program! Eligible nonprofit members and government members are awarded $1,000 matching grants to hire interns to work for their organizations during the summer, and receive meaningful exposure to the various careers within the affordable housing and community development industry. HAND’s grant program supports our members by offsetting the costs of hiring exceptional students to work as interns, while also honoring the organization’s commitment to cultivate the next generation of community development leaders.
Cultivating the Next Generation of Community Development Leaders
Application Process: HAND’s Summer Internship Grant Program is opened each year to nonprofit and government members. Applicants are required to submit an online application that includes a detailed description of the internship position. After the applications are evaluated, selected organizations will be notified of their award. Grants will be dispersed to organizations upon completion of the internship and submission of the internship evaluation form. Organizations who are awarded the grant are required to pay the student $2,000, half of which will be funded through the grant. The deadline to submit applications for Summer 2018 internships is Close of Business on Friday, March 30, 2018.
Hear what HAND’s Summer Intern Program Alumni have to say about their experiences:
Grant Recipient: AHC, Inc. | Arlington, VA
Intern: Mussa Seid , High School Student
Mussa Seid did an incredible job administering the property management survey at three AHC properties, compiling all of the data, analyzing the data and presenting the data in a variety of formats so it can be used to effectively help property management staff better serve our residents. He also worked some hours at the Gates of Ballston summer camp where the children adored him and he served as an excellent role model for them and gave them the attention they crave and need. AHC had never hired an intern this young. Mussa is going to be a senior in high school this year. We also had never hired an AHC resident before. Everyone who worked with Mussa was impressed by his professionalism and the quality of work he produced. Here is what Mussa said about the experience:
I’ve been told that future jobs rely heavily on work experience; this internship has given me incredible opportunities. It has provided a ‘bridge’ as I transition into pursuing further education as well as shedding light upon my interests and desires for my career path. This internship has built on various skills necessary to succeed in the future and I am so grateful. I’ve built relationships with keen and kind people; thank you for this informative and fun opportunity.“
Grant Recipient: City First Homes | Washington, DC
Intern: Zach Komes, George Washington University
Zach was a great help around the office, especially with the Community Wealth Building Initiative program. He had the opportunity to gain meaningful work experience while working at an organization whose mission he believes in. For the Community Wealth Building Initiative, he conducted market research to draft a proposal of potential program recommendations, developing his understanding of how nonprofits make strategic decisions. Zach wrote the following about his internship:
This experience was enhanced by working with a staff that cares deeply about one another and I’m grateful to have had the chance to be part of the team.”
Grant Recipient: Community Preservation and Development Corporation |Silver Spring, MD
Intern: Brooke Shawcross , Boston College, Pursuing BA in Psychology
Brooke was tasked with two major projects: a math summer learning loss prevention program for our elementary aged youth and to increase engagement among residents of all ages. Brooke’s hard work and dedication resulted in astounding successes. She organized various events throughout the summer, and her efforts culminated in an enormous Community Day. Brooke also planned and executed a summer learning loss program in math, aimed at preventing the “summer slide” so common among students, but especially among our low-income, ESL students. Brooke’s efforts this summer at Stony Brook have set the community up for success going forward, from our young students who are as confident as ever in their educational abilities to our adults who feel as connected to their community as they ever have. Of the experience, Brooke said:
I learned and honed many professional skills that I know will help me in my future career, such as how to be an effective and responsible leader and role model among the youth, as well as planning a large scale event that is both cost and space effective.”
Grant Recipient: Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia | Alexandria, VA
Intern: Kelcie Chandler, Christopher Newport University, Pursuing Degree in Social Work
Kelcie Chandler, an upcoming sophomore at Christopher Newport University, entered all of Habitat NOVA’s homeowner files into our Salesforce database and prepared weekly letters for the families department. She spent two days a week from 9am-5pm working with the homeowner files. With the homeowner information in the database our affiliate will be able to successfully track the program’s success, physical properties, number of families served, etc. This information will be beneficial to everyone from our Marketing and Communications Manager to our Programs Coordinator. Habitat NOVA was very lucky to work with such a capable young woman this summer. Kelcie said:
I absolutely loved interning at Habitat NOVA this summer because I was able to learn so much about an organization I’m passionate about, as well as gain office experience.”
Grant Recipient: HomeAid Northern Virginia | Chantilly, VA
Intern: Nick Benincasa, Radford University
Nick’s responsibilities were focused in the areas of marketing, visual storytelling, and program support. Some of his accomplishments included editing and finalizing several videos for use in marketing and communication materials; researching industry averages and standards for different types of email communications including call-to-action emails, eNewsletters, and general program/fundraising support emails; researching both local publications and industry publications and compiling a spreadsheet with pertinent information such as rate card prices, circulation and contact information; and attending many industry events representing HomeAid by speaking with attendees and handing out information. Nick shared the following regarding his experience:
Being an intern at HomeAid Northern Virginia has been a remarkable experience. On my very first day I was so surprised in how involved I would be in the marketing aspects of the organization. When I start my fall semester at Radford University and the professor is giving a lecture on measuring consumer engagement, I will already know what he is talking about. It won’t be because I read it in a book, but because I was able to gather this data for a real organization like HomeAid. ”
Grant Recipient: Homes for America | Annapolis, MD
Intern: Marcus Finnie, Richard Bland College, Pursuing Degree in Child Psychology
Marcus Finnie was hired as the director of Heritage Park Apartments’ SOKS (Sema, Ota, Kua, Soma or Speak, Dream, Grow, Read) Camp director. Marcus had previous experience volunteering with children at the SOKS Camp in previous years, as well as a volunteer for our Homework Club and is a full time college student. Marcus is also a resident at Heritage Park Apartments were he resides with his parents and 3 siblings. For nine weeks this summer Marcus spent every week day with approximately 80 children participating in camp and supervising 20 teen volunteers. Marcus helped plan and facilitate daily activities and weekly field trips. He showed the utmost respect for all participants and demonstrated the compassion that so many of the children need. He made everyone laugh every day with his great sense of humor. One of our sponsors came to camp for a day and met the directors and volunteers, she was very impressed with Marcus and his ability to organize and connect with the children. When asked about his experience, Marcus said
I believe this year of summer camp was a success. It has made me even more excited to continue my pursuit in an education career working with children.”
Grant Recipient: NHT-Enterprise | Washington, DC
Intern: Emily Shamberger, The George Washington University, Pursuing Degree In International Affairs
Emily planned and coordinated the annual Managers’ Training, and presented the results of the Resident Satisfaction Survey she’d managed for the past 6 months to give managers constructive feedback on their property’s performance. Additionally, she completed a review of the replacement reserve and right of first refusal agreements for 14 properties and was essential in preparing tax abatement applications for two properties. Emily had this to say about her internship:
I’m unbelievably thankful to NHT-Enterprise for giving me my first real work experience. Instead of making me feel like an intern, everyone treated me as a member of the team and gave me independent and meaningful projects that introduced me to the workings behind affordable housing.”
Grant Recipient: Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County | Largo, MD
Intern: Isabela Tavares , UNICAMP- State University of Campinas- in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Catholic University of America
As the RDA summer intern, Isabela provided significant contributions to the agency. Her chief responsibility was making a video to promote the completion of the County’s first Net Zero Energy Home. She also completed three project presentations boards: 1) County-wide presentation of all of the RDA projects; 2) presentation for the Mayor and City Council of Fairmount Heights; and 3) presentation for the net zero energy home for Capitol Heights, MD. Lastly, Isabela assisted with the County’s Housing Fair tour of the Suitland net zero energy home and in the creation of application materials for the RDA’s Community Legacy Funding application to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development by providing data collected through her research and graphic presentation. When asked about her internship, Isabela said:
Working with the Redevelopment Authority during the summer was a valuable experience. I grew personally and professionally, learning every day not only how the agency works but also how to work with the agency. I hope I have contributed, working with graphic design, as much as they’ve contributed with me and my portfolio. I am glad to have worked here.”
Grant Recipient: Wesley Housing Development Corporation| Alexandria, VA
Intern: Ilyana Carlos, George Mason University, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Global Affairs
Ilyana planned and implemented a Summer Camp program for 22 youth members from ages 5-12 years old. She supervised 8 volunteers, from teens to professional adults. She incorporated educational activities, arts & crafts, sports, and field trips as a part of the program to further improve the youth member’s learning and create new opportunities. Ilyana had the following to say about her internship:
Every day was a new learning opportunity not just for the youth but for the volunteers and myself. I’ve watched them develop friendships, learn leadership skills, uncover their talents, experience new places for the first time, and overall form a stronger community. Knowing that I was a part of that experience was a truly fulfilling and enjoyable role.”
Grant Recipient: AHC, Inc. | Arlington, VA
Intern: Torie Coppa, James Madison University, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology
Torie worked on The Success Measures Survey and organized AHC’s photos into a new software program during her summer internship. The survey data provided AHC Management important feedback in order to continuously improve its property management operations. Torie created summaries of the feedback collected for each property as well as one overall summary of what was learned through the survey. Torie had the following to say about her experience with AHC:
I wanted to thank you in advance for the opportunity to learn at AHC this summer. It has definitely helped me find direction in my career goals and within the nonprofit world. I have learned about the dedication and passion necessary to work at a nonprofit through observing the daily activities and work in resident services. Thank you for an enriching summer!”
Grant Recipient: CityFirst Homes | Washington, DC
Intern: Azeem Ahmed, Auburn University, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Pre-Med
Azeem had the opportunity to learn from and contribute to a variety of projects. He researched a number of topics including local development programs, tax-exempt/non-profitt bonds and housing regulations. He helped develop an action plan for the organization, worked closely with consultants, assisted with a monthly office “lunch and learn, ” and worked with other interns on a presentation on public awareness for CityFirst Homes. Ahmed described his internship as
An exciting experience that gave me a first hand exposure to housing, healthcare, grant-writing and research. CityFirst Homes gave me a place to pull together a collage of my interests and develop skills that will continue to benefit me for years to come.”
Grant Recipient: Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) | Reston, VA
Intern: Alex Ouyang, University of Pittsburgh, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees in English Literature and Non-Fiction Writing
Alex served as the Summer Enrichment Intern for CPDC’s Island Walk community in Reston, VA where she worked with program staff to implement the Summer Enrichment Activities Project. Among other responsibilities, she assisted in the development of project curriculum, supported daily activities, and created portfolios for each participating student. She says she enjoyed being able to take the lead some days which gave her some good teaching experience and freedom to experiment. Her contributions have helped set a stronger foundation for next year’s summer project. Alex summarized her experience by saying
I thought it was a great learning experience with a very welcome environment. I liked that I was allowed to plan out a week’s worth of classes, which gave me a lot of teaching experience and freedom to experiment. According to Jessica [program staff], the range of activities we were able to do increased a lot in comparison to last year when there was no intern, and I feel like we got a lot of things accomplished in this year’s summer program that set a stronger foundation for next year’s summer program.”
Grant Recipient: Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. | Hyattsville, MD
Intern: Haley Harned, University of Maryland, Pursuing Masters Degree in Planning
Haley’s summer internship at HIP enabled her to touch upon a wide range of affordable housing solutions, from rental to homeownership and from single to multifamily properties. She was actively involved in writing portions of responses to RFP’s for innovative, affordable multifamily housing developments, assisting with administrative aspects of Prince George’s County’s Housing Rehabilitation Assistance Program for low-income homeowners, and researching ownership and value of potential new multifamily projects that HIP may pursue. Haley had the following to say about her experience
My summer internship with HIP has provided me with another piece in the complex puzzle of seeing clearly the entire picture of affordable housing’s challenges and opportunities in an area which desperately needs it. This internship was critical in teaching me how to view existing and potential affordable housing as a developer would, considering everything from financial to aesthetic aspects of each property.”
Grant Recipient: Victory Housing, Inc. | Rockville, MD
Intern: Francis Nenwola, University of Maryland, Masters in Finance
As a recent graduate, Francis enjoyed his exposure to affordable housing and community development. He was able to assist Victory Housing with items such as updating asset management binders, preparation of quarterly portfolio status report, assisted with site visits, prepared property inspection reports, and researched current energy rebate, loans, and grants available. When asked about his internship, Francis said
Interning at Victory Housing was a great experience for me. In a short period of time, I learned and accomplished so much in the property asset management and community development fields. This new knowledge and experience will be very helpful as I begin my professional career.”
Grant Recipient: Alliance for Housing Solutions | Arlington, VA
Intern: Joanna Biernacka-Livestro, PhD Candidate, George Mason University, working on dissertation: “Analyzing the Correlation between Walkability and Regional Economic Vitality”
Alliance for Housing Solutions (AHS) was fortunate to find an intern at the academic level and subject interest of Joanna. Her work involved research, graphics and narrative text in creating a presentation for AHS’ Leckey Forum on October 18, 2013. The working title is What Price Affordability? Case studies based on Arlington County and regional data. The data presents rent, food, transportation, child care, health care and personal items costs—based on recognized indices—for households of varying size (1-person, parent+child, 4-person family, senior) at various levels of AMI (40%, 60% and 80%). Arlington/regional costs are also compared to national averages and other similar jurisdictions.
Joanna states “Working for AHS, with the support of HAND, means contributing to research on relevant issues crucial for the economic performance of Arlington County and the region and the well-being of their residents. Conducting this research has been a challenging and fulfilling experience.”
Grant Recipient: City of Alexandria Office of Housing | Alexandria, VA
Intern: Genna Schwartz, Ohio State University, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology
As an intern for the city of Alexandria Office of Housing, Genna Schwartz was brought on to support the City’s residential energy efficiency initiatives. She was tasked with the responsibility of developing a brochure to promote the Home Performance with Energy Star Program as well as the affordable financing resources available to help low and moderate income residents in Alexandria, VA.
Genna expressed “My internship with the City of Alexandria was great. It gave me a chance to use my skills while also leaving room to learn. Everyone I worked with gave me guidance and support when I needed it, while still allowing me freedom and flexibility in my work.”
We were extremely pleased and excited to find her work to be eye-catching, original, and creative. Thanks to HAND for supporting this internship. I believe this was a rewarding partnership for both the City and our intern.” Said City of Alexandria Office of Housing Staff
Grant Recipient: Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. | Washington, DC
Intern: John Hersey, University of Maryland-College Park, Pursuing Degree in Masters of Real Estate Development
John was a major contributor to Enterprise by advancing their advocacy for Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD). He supported ongoing research for the Annie E. Casey Foundation regarding opportunities and challenges in Baltimore in relation to ETOD. John researched local policies local policies to support ETOD and coordinated nearly a dozen stakeholder interviews with affordable housing developers in the Baltimore Region. He was also instrumental in preparing for a webinar that Enterprise co-hosted for HUD Sustainable Communities grantees. John was such an asset to the Enterprise team that they have extended his time with the organization.
“From the start, I’ve been impressed with Enterprise’s myriad initiatives, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to advance the organization’s mission with so many motivated and effective colleagues.” Said John Hersey
Grant Recipient: Homes for America | Annapolis, MD
Intern: Caitlin Tucker, Maryland Institute College of Art, Pursuing Masters Degree in Curatorial Practices
The primary responsibility of Caitlin Tucker was to provide assistance to Homes for America’s Summer Reading Program and Summer Camp. Caitlin had the opportunity to personally tutor children who had difficulties reading. She was also an asset to the Clare Court Summer program by being very enthusiastic when working with the children. Caitlin also assisted in keeping the place organized by maintaining attendance records and safe food handling practices. Due to Caitlin’s background in painting, she created lessons that incorporated art. She developed a Clare Court History coloring and activity book.
Caitlin said this about her experience “I really enjoyed learning so much in depth about the property, the history of the people here, and the spirit of the community! This experience was a great benefit and contribution to my studies.”
Grant Recipient: National Housing Trust- Enterprise Preservation Corporation | Washington, DC
Intern: Emily Schutz, George Washington University, Pursuing Degree in American Studies
Emily was involved in a range of activities at National Housing Trust/Enterprise during her summer internship. Emily provided support for community development programs, green initiatives, and asset management. She played a key role in helping to secure full accreditation in HUD’s Green Accreditation program. Emily hopes to pursue a legal career after graduation, so she was excited to work on supporting the National Housing Trust/Enterprise’s campaign to promote awareness about the new health care law (Affordable Care Act) among all National Housing Trust/Enterprise properties.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to help the National Housing Trust/Enterprise support its residents and advance important issues like affordable health care and academic achievement in low-income communities. I am impressed by the organization’s work to help its residents.” said Schutz.
Grant Recipient: Sarah’s Circle | Washington, DC
Intern: Jacob Palmer, American University, pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish
Jacob Palmer served as a program design intern for Sarah’s Circle, working to implement and evaluate programming for very low-income seniors at the organization. He also assisted in developing a short-term plan to improve their social media marketing and messaging and also helped to create content for dissemination via online platforms. His three primary tasks included performing a one-on-one evaluation with each of our residents to determine satisfaction with our supportive program, surveying our program and other senior service providers to determine gaps in services, and presenting ideas to our staff for new programs designed to better meet the needs of our senior participants. Jake provided a long list of ideas for program enhancements, some of which they have already implemented. During his last days he proposed videotaping interviews with a few of our residents, which is an idea Sarah’s Circle has implemented.
“Sarah’s Circle is far more than the sum of its parts, and the video testimonials prove that. Each resident carries a diverse set of experiences with them, and it is this diversity that informs how Sarah’s Circle works as a community.” Says Jake Palmer about his experience
Grant Recipient: Wesley Housing Development Corporation|Alexandria, VA
Intern: Matthew O’Mera
The theme for 2013 Summer Camp at Wesley Housing’s four Community Resource Centers (CRCs) is to take campers on an exploration of new fields of study and potential careers. Matthew became an excellent addition to Wesley Housing by providing assistance at the on-site computer lab. He worked with adults and children on various computer skills. Matthew also helped with all summer cap activities and field trips, like the trip to the ABC news station.
Matthew says about his internship “My favorite activities were the things we did outdoors. I hope my work shows the kids that all they have to do is look around and they will see people in the world who are willing to help them succeed.”
Grant Recipient: AHC, Inc. |Arlington, VA
Intern: Madeline Nooter, Guilford College, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Education and History
Madie Nooter’s internship experience included a special project related to collecting data on AHC residents to help the organization’s Community Relations department paint a clear and accurate picture when writing about them in promotional materials. Additionally, AHC’s Resident Services department used the data to make decisions around the type of programming provided on site at their new properties. Described by her colleagues as pleasant, communicative and reliable, AHC hopes to hire Madie again to work on another data project over the holiday break.
At the end of the summer, Madie wrote, “Thank you so much for this experience! I really learned a great deal from working here this summer, and I really enjoyed the work I was doing with our team and the site managers.”
Grant Recipient: Montgomery Housing Partnership |Silver Spring, MD
Intern: Jared Russell, University of Maryland, Pursuing Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development
As a student pursuing graduate studies in real estate development, Jared Russell realized the importance of deepening his knowledge of asset management operations. During his internship with Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), Jared’s responsibilities included: Gathering data to track usage of utilities at MHP properties and coordination with a tracking company; Organizing prepared analysis spreadsheets; Assisting with proposals and applications for future grants; Researching “green” grant applications and opportunities for funding; and supporting the Asset Manager as need. Upon completion of his internship, Jared felt he had a better understanding of the asset management world and enhanced his knowledge of integrating budget concerns with asset upgrades and replacements, funder constraints and monitoring requirements on investments, and understanding how property managers and asset managers interface.
Montgomery Housing Partnership was a very friendly and professional work environment that fostered learning and the ability to get support,” said Jared.
Grant Recipient: Homes for America |Annapolis, MD
Intern: Jasmine Johnson, University of Maryland, Pursuing MSW
Jasmine Johnson was an excellent addition and contributor to the Summer Programming of Homes for America’s Clare Court Community. Her primary duties were to assist in facilitating and implementing the Summer Reading Program, Summer Camp, Summer Food Program and Dance and Movement Classes. The Summer Reading program was designed to encourage children to read over their summer breaks. Children who were residents in the community would participate in activities based on the books they read. In addition to monitoring the children and reading to them, Jasmine would plan lessons and organize the schedule. For the Clare Court Summer Camp, Jasmine also helped to research and schedule field trips in addition to supporting the staff during all activities. With regard to the Summer Food Program, Jasmine was charged with managing the administrative contracts associated with the food program. Last, Jasmine was also instrumental in creating two separate movement classes for youth and adults as part of the Healthy Clare Court Initiative. Although Jasmine’s focus in graduate school is Social Work, Clare Court benefited a great deal from her extensive background in dance, which all proved valuable in the management of its various programming.
I truly enjoyed working with Homes for America’s Clare Court Community and appreciated the many projects and people I was able to touch during my internship,” said Jasmine.
Grant Recipient: The Institute for Community Economics |Washington, D.C.
Intern: Jack Slettebak, University of Maryland Baltimore County
The Institute for Community Economics (ICE) is a federally certified Community Development Financial Institution that makes loans for permanently affordable housing across the United States. A branch of the National Housing Trust, ICE is the originator of the community land trust, a housing model that develops equity for homeowners while preserving public subsidy and affordability in perpetuity.
As an intern at ICE, Jack Slettebak’s duties included updating investor databases and digitalizing/organizing loan portfolios for future use.
Jack said, “I particularly enjoyed learning to use the DownHome loan software in addition to the knowledge I gained on the basics of standard loan documents.”
Grant Recipient: Wesley Housing Development Corporation |Alexandria, VA
Intern: Audrey Keller, Virginia Commonwealth University, Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication
According to her colleagues at Wesley Housing Development Corporation, Audrey Keller was a delight to have for the summer and provided a great deal of assistance in executing two important projects, Help the Homeless Outreach events and a development proposal to Fairfax County. She first provided logistical support and day-off assistance for the planning and execution of 16 Help the Homeless outreach events being held with Fairfax County’s Rec-PAC program. Additionally, she provided support with the editing and production of a large development proposal being submitted to Fairfax County. Audrey’s other main responsibilities included: Organizing an action plan to help recruit sponsors for several key fundraising programs and events; Assisting with planning for Wesley Housing’s Rock & Stroll event; and Researching affordable housing and homelessness in DC-metro area and nationwide.
The projects Audrey worked on would not have gone as smoothly if it weren’t for the support of her time and talents,” said Wesley Housing staff.
Grant Recipient: Somerset Development |Washington, D.C.
Intern: Kyle Johnson, Shaw University, Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration
As an intern for Somerset Development, Kyle Johnson worked in both an administrative role and educational role for the young campers at Urban Village/Hubbard Place Summer Camp and Resident Service Department. His office tasks included providing assistance to the Residents Services department by creating documents and flyers, tracking attendance and posting data on family metrics software. He also provided assistance during events and helped take pictures of the Hubbard Place/Urban Village Workforce development fair in June.
Kyle said, “Hubbard place has provided me the opportunity where I can put my passion for youth into practice. It gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and challenged me to become a better role model.”
Our experience with Kyle has been so favorable, not only for the assistance he provides, but the rapport he has gained with our young people and families, that we hope to bring him back next summer and hire as a camp counselor,” said Cindy Rozon, Resident Services Director.