WCER Projects Seeking Summer Interns Should Act Fast

WEC will coordinate Centro Hispano program Escalera at WCER

April 25, 2022   |   By WCER Communications

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon

After a pandemic-related pause last year, WCER will once again host interns this summer from Centro Hispano of Dane County’s Escalera program for Latinx high school students from the Madison Metropolitan School District.

WCER will centrally fund the required fee of $1,516 per intern for up to two interns, potentially making it easier for smaller WCER projects to participate in the program.

Projects interested in helping to host an intern need to signal interest at their earliest convenience by contacting Shahanna McKinney-Baldon of the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative, which is coordinating the Escalera program within WCER. You can email McKinney-Baldon here.

The intern program runs for seven weeks starting June 27, with some important things that must be completed prior to that. There is an organizational meeting with Centro Hispano in late May, plus a few trainings and required paperwork for hosting projects to do.

If more than two WCER projects are interested in participating this summer, it may be possible for those projects to self-fund an intern placement or start work on getting an Escalera intern for next summer. Anyone at WCER also is welcome to attend Centro Hispano’s end-of-program event on August 12, when the interns describe what they learned.

“It’s a wonderful celebration of the achievements of the students and of the partnerships between the hosting organizations and Centro Hispano, which is such an important community organization,” McKinney-Baldon notes.

Escalera is designed to help students explore careers and learn basic professional skills. Hosting projects should expect to orient and train interns about the organization and the work they will do, while providing opportunities for interns to ask questions and learn about careers in the field. Upon completion of the program, interns will receive a certificate, a scholarship and a laptop from Centro Hispano.

Interns in the program—rising seniors from East, La Follette and West high schools—typically will work about 7 hours per week at WCER, with hosting projects covering around two-thirds of the interns’ time. WEC will provide training in research and evaluation topics during the balance of the interns’ time, McKinney-Baldon says.

“We are very excited for these internships to give us the opportunity to lean into our WCER values, in particular around partnerships and having a pipeline approach to our work at the center,” she says. “We at WEC will look forward to providing the operational support and linking interns to the WCER-wide experience for these Escalera interns.”