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Kalamazoo College

Community Building Internships

"This experience reinforced my conviction that there is always something that can be done in the present and that it is these small acts that add up to systemic change."  

-Kacey Cook, CBI for Farmworker Legal Services, Summer 2014


What is a Community Building Internship (CBI)?

Community Building Internships (CBIs) are partnerships between the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and local organizations that provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful work through paid summer internships in Kalamazoo. Funded by the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), these internships are typically six to eight weeks in length, for a total of about 240 hours. 

Over the years, Community Building Interns have had the opportunity to work with outstanding organizations that partner with the CCE, both to “build a more just, equitable, and sustainable Kalamazoo,” and to acquire skills, experiences and perspectives in careers and workplaces committed to social change. Click here to view some of them. 

SUMMER 2018 CCE Community Building Internships (CBI’s) - NOW CLOSED

In the CCE’s ongoing commitment to work toward greater equity in resource allocation, these positions (in cooperation with the CCPD) are a competitive application process open only to students who meet eligibility criteria, i.e. first-generation college students (as self-reported to the College) and/or students with high financial need (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).

These positions come with a $4,000 stipend.

SUMMER 2018 Opportunities 


 Savannah Kinchen at YWCA CBI

Savannah Kinchen (far right) with her colleagues at the Kalamazoo YWCA during her summer 2017 CBI. Savannah worked with Cradle Kalamazoo and the YWCA, both community partners of the Center for Civic Engagement. 


There are many benefits to participating in a Community Building Internship, including:

  • Summer 2018 Stipend is $4,000
  • Mentor relationship with local Kalamazoo professionals
  • Praxis—connecting scholarship with applied work, and acquiring practical skills for community engagement and working for change


To participate in Community Building Internships, a student must:

  • Be a current first-year, sophomore, or junior, when applying
  • Be a first-generation college student (as self-reported to the College) and/or student with high financial need (as determined by the Financial Aid Office)
  • Complete all program requirements for CBI's:
    • Intern Agreement— Signed agreement once you have been selected for your position, accepting the internship. Stipends can not be released without this. 
    • Learning Contract— Once you have accepted an internship, the Learning Contract must be completed with your internship supervisor in order to mutually establish goals for your skill development, learning, and contribution to the organization during your internship.
    • Reflection Dinners—Attend these informal meals during the course of your internship to engage with and learn about other CBIs, their Community Partners and the programs they are involved with. These are funded by the CCE and are offered at no cost to you.
    • Reflective Assignment— Complete one written reflection assignment at the end of your internship.
    • CCE Winter Symposium—Participation required in the following winter's information session upon request.

PLEASE NOTE:  Students may only receive one stipend per internship site; students who return to the same site for a second summer are not eligible for a stipend.

*Because the CCE has a long history of relationship-based work in the greater Kalamazoo community, internships that are pre-selected in alignment with CCE priorities are the single way for students to receive a stipend to conduct a summer internship with a local non-profit organization. In other words, internships with local non-profit organizations which are not designated as summer 2018 CBIs are not eligible for a stipend. Inquiries should be directed to Alison Geist, Director of the CCE.