Serving Communities Internship Program (SCiP) is a program offered through the Government of Alberta and Volunteer Alberta, giving post-secondary students throughout the province many benefits.
“The process is that non-profits can submit a job description through the SCiP website or the SCiP office, which I believe is housed at Volunteer Alberta in Edmonton,” said Pam Snowdon, executive director with Red Deer’s Volunteer Central.
That job description is then vetted by the SCiP staff, and once accepted, is posted on their website so that post secondary students can apply for the internships.
“The internships give the students some work experience and a reference, and also a $1,000 bursary when they’re done the internship,” said Snowdon.
She added the internships generally run for their academic school year from September until when they’re done in April.
“The agreement is for the non-profit organization to use them on average about five hours a week, so it’s not meant to burden them, because academics come first.”
Snowdon said last year she had two SCiP students that were interning in Volunteer Central’s youth program out of the Red Deer Public Library’s downtown branch.
“We had a drop-in program for youths that were interested in learning about volunteer opportunities.”
She said one of the interns was a group facilitator and the other planned the program.
This year Snowdon has another SCiP intern named Muna Ahmed, who is a kinesiology student at Red Deer College. She’s doing the youth program.
“We’re doing it different this year. She’s actually prepared a presentation and is booking speaking engagements at the high schools, and she’s already been out to Lindsay Thurber,” said Snowdon, adding that she did a presentation to the leadership class.
Ahmed said she’s made lots of connections with so many people, which is one of the reasons she wanted to join SCiP.
“It’s just being able to find what’s good for you, that’s what I really love about SCiP,” said Ahmed.
She added that SCiP has been a new, but great experience for her so far.
Snowdon said they are currently advertising another position on the SCiP website for those interested in writing about the local non-profit sector, developing some fresh content to use on their website and in their newsletters about what’s happening with non-profit organizations in Red Deer.
“It’s great for non-profits because you can get several pieces of work done using the expertise of the students,” she said, adding that they get to use their various skill sets.”
Everything, she said, is done through www.joinscip.ca.
“Students can see the intern listings on the website and they can apply right there on the website, so they submit their resume, their cover letter and a portfolio if they have one online.”
She said the non-profit end is also notified, so they know when someone has applied for scheduling an interview.