Pathways to Partnerships: Building Sustainable Relationships Through University-Supported Internships

Lara Smith-Sitton


Relying upon the work of a nonprofit, Food Security for America, this snapshot report explores how internships with undergraduate and graduate students offer opportunities to establish trust and understanding between university partners and community partners, particularly at the start of a relationship or project. The goal of this piece is to provide a framework for reciprocity, as well as exploration of projects for practitioners and stakeholders initiating relationships or interested in ways to incrementally expand exisiting partnerships with organizations and communities addressing critical food and environmental justice issues. It places the voices of graduate and undergraduate interns and leaders within a national nonprofit in conversation to better understand issues of activism and social justice that can be served through community writing and research initiatives connecting students and nonprofits. Approaches to assessing specific projects and participant engagement set forth a model for measuring the value and impact of internships in community-engaged work.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.