By Paul Thompson
July 20, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A dozen interns sponsored by Park University will wrap up an eight-week public affairs program on Saturday, July 23, by holding a group community service project in the Historic Northeast from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The CORO Kansas City Summer Internship program offers real-world insight into what it takes to become a community leader. The structured, full-time program offers students from any college or university an opportunity to learn directly from professionals in the fields of business, government, labor, and non-profit work. For their efforts, CORO KC interns receive three hours of credit from their respective institutions, as well as a $1,000 stipend. At the end of the program, the students are responsible for giving back to the communities in which they were embedded by providing a day of service.
This year, the Northeast will be the beneficiary of the group’s efforts. The CORO KC interns have identified a handful of projects to complete, with July 23 chosen as their service day. In the Indian Mound neighborhood, the group will repaint the sign at the community garden; at the North-East Public Library, they will repaint murals overlooking the parking lot; at the Pendelton Heights pocket park at Lexington and Brooklyn, they will plant flowers and install bike racks. The group will also paint a sign for the Pendleton Heights neighborhood’s community orchard (Lexington and Montgall) and clean up and plant flower beds along Lexington Avenue.
Northeast Chamber of Commerce president Bobbi Baker-Hughes is thrilled with how the CORO KC program has invested so much time and effort into the area.
“I think it’s an excellent partnership. They are young adults with exceptional minds that choose to spend their summer in the Northeast doing good work,” said Baker-Hughes. “They wanted to do some hands-on work.”
The group has raised more than $1,200 to help pay for any supplies necessary during the service day. They earned funds in part by selling Kansas City-themed buttons during First Friday events at the Crossroads. The interns also earned fundraising dollars through Krispy Kreme – getting doughnuts at a reduced price and selling them at a recommended amount. These fundraising efforts were added to funds made available through the university to help ensure that as many service projects as possible could be completed.
“I think they’ll be well-positioned to handle all of the projects that have been submitted,” said Don Wise, CORO KC’s program manager.
According to group spokesperson Maggie Stanton, the student interns have also derived great value from working hand-in-hand with community leaders throughout the Northeast.
“It’s been such a valuable experience for me. I came into CORO unsure of where I really found myself post-graduation, so this has really given me a hands-on opportunity to really see all of the options that are in the area,” said Stanton. “We bonded very quickly, and I think that’s because CORO recruits students who want to be community leaders and want to be physically engaged.”