Public Engagement Intern

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 Public Egagement Intern
NPS Unit Name Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (Thousand Oaks) – Twentynine Palms, CA
Position Dates May 29th – August 3rd, 2018
Position Description Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is both an urban and nature-based park. Millions recreate in the mountains and beaches each year, yet are unaware that they are doing so in a national park unit. The park’s visitor center receives low numbers, in part because most local residents go directly to their favorite trailhead, without any need for park-provided orientation or interpretation. The internship addresses this disparity by proactively inviting and engaging those who live nearby. The intern will deliberately reach out to local businesses, organizations, and community groups to open and maintain a line of dialogue. While the goal is to drive more traffic to our visitor center and programs, we also want to use this opportunity to more intentionally learn about our community’s needs and expectations. What kind of programming or services is relevant and improves their lives?
The intern will research, identify, and contact groups and organizations within a 20-minute radius of the visitor center. Based on the conversations, the intern will then follow up to meet face-to-face, offer presentations about the park and our  programming, and provide a regular supply of print and marketing material. The outcome is, at minimum, to contact 40 different groups, provide 10 presentations, and develop a spreadsheet and report detailing the needs and requests of these organizations. This research will ultimately inform the park’s overall marketing efforts and the type of interpretive programming we offer. Many national parks passively wait for visitors to come to them; this internship recognizes that we often need to take the first step in inviting our neighbors.
Learning Goals The intern will learn marketable skills like building a network, creating informal partnerships, and serving diverse audiences. The intern will learn about Santa Monica Mountain’s resources, operations, and management. Intern will learn how to work in a professional setting and how to represent a federal agency during meetings with the public.
The intern should demonstrate excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, as the intern needs to be a professional representative of the park. Prior experience in customer service within a service industry is preferred. The intern needs to have high interpersonal skills and be confident working with park managers, partners, and the public. The intern should be able to work independently, have initiative, and demonstrate excellent follow through on tasks. Lastly, the intern needs to have a valid driver’s license and be comfortable driving on highways and in urban areas.
Relevant coursework:
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Sociology
  • Parks and Recreation
Work Environment The intern will work primarily out of our park's visitor center. About 50% of his or her time will occur out in the park and working in nearby communities. One hazard to consider is driving in Los Angeles. While the intern will participate in a defensive
driving course and have access to government vehicles for official duties (upon clearing a background check), not all people are comfortable navigating the highway system. The intern should be comfortable driving at high speeds and in heavy traffic.
Last year, our robust interpretation team supported more than 30 interns from across the country. These interns joined an even larger contingent of interns, volunteers, and young employees in all divisions. The park is highly collaborative and offers ample opportunities to work with and meet staff from other divisions.
Vehicle/License Requirement A valid state driver's license and personal vehicle is required. While the intern technically can walk from park housing to the visitor center, a vehicle is needed for groceries, errands, shopping, and social engagements.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $10 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • Housing is available, and the park will cover housing costs. It has 8 rooms with two beds each (same gender), shared bathrooms, a kitchen with provided cookware and utensils, a commons area and a laundry room. WiFi is available. 
  • 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
QUESTIONS? Contact us at
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.
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search