Interpretation Assistant

Because the need for preserving all of our nation’s history has never been greater, we’re counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) is a 10-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and culture. Participants gain real world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.
Position Title Interpretation Assistant
NPS Unit Name Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site – Richmond, VA
Position Dates May 29th – August 3rd, 2018
Position Description Maggie L Walker NHS (MAWA) is seeking an undergraduate, graduate, or recently graduated student to support its interpretation and education programs, particularly to assist the Supervisory Park Ranger with the site’s primary youth outreach program, the annual Maggie L. Walker Summer Youth Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute provides a two-week experiential program for youth interested in developing leadership skills and participating in service-learning projects. It is open at no cost to students age 14 through 18 in the Greater Richmond (VA) area and participation is limited to up to 14 students each year.. The target audience for the program is students from under-represented or under-served groups. Over the past eight years, the institute has been successful in reaching more than 100 students who otherwise would not be exposed to the rich history and culture explored in the themes at Maggie L. Walker NHS. The site now seeks to evaluate the program and establish a network of past program participants in order to carry the program to the next level.
The intern’s major project will be to collaborate with park staff, under the direction of the Supervisory Park Ranger, to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate the Leadership Institute. The intern will: assist with pre-program planning and arrangements; serve as mentor and assistant during the two-week institute, conduct post-program evaluation; and prepare a summary project report to present to park management, partners and stakeholders.
In addition the selected intern will be involved in a fully immersive experience in interpretation operations and educational programs in the park. Interpretation duties will include working the site’s visitor center, presenting talks and tours, and making sales in the bookstore. The intern will have the opportunity to interact with park staff from other disciplines such as law enforcement, administration, maintenance, and cultural and natural resources to get a fuller
scope of employment opportunities available in the NPS.
Learning Goals By working with NPS personnel on the related projects, the intern will learn and gain experience in many aspects of interpretation and visitor service operations related to working in a national
park. Through his or her work with the Leadership Institute, the intern will gain valuable experience seeing a project through from planning to implementation to final report.
In addition, the intern will gain:
• Experience working with an historical park’s professional interpretive staff and other
student interns
• Personal enrichment by educating the public about critical historical events
• Interaction with visitors who are seeking understanding of early 20th century struggles of
African Americans
• Development of speaking and presentation skills
• Development of skills in the management of public resources
Qualifications Upper-level undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in history, museum management, education, or work with youth
• Excellent customer service and communications skills
• Desire to work with youth audiences
• Experience in public speaking and visual and social media communications.
• Interest in interpretation education or museums
• Knowledge of subject matter, including Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation and the early civil rights movement.
• Dependability and punctuality
Work Environment Work is primarily performed indoors. The job may entail prolonged standing or walking, walking up and down stairs, and handling cash. The position will require the physical ability to work in all weather conditions and perform some light lifting (>50 lbs.)
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle is helpful but not required. A valid state driver's license is required to operate government vehicles while conducting official government business.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $10 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • Park Housing will not be available. A housing stipend will be included for a portion of the rent for 10 weeks.
  • Mandatory attendance in the all-expense paid Leadership & Careers Workshop in Washington, D.C. in August
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at:
For more information about HBCUI visit
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Greening Youth Foundation (GYF, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture environmental stewardship among diverse youth and young adults, while exposing them to conservation careers.
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