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Internship Opportunities in Tucson

Last updated 

The IRC’s US offices offer a variety of unpaid internship opportunities throughout the year. Prospective interns must go through the internship process and should be currently enrolled in an educational institution or a recent graduate. For more information, contact VolunteerTucson [at] rescue.org (subject: Volunteering%20in%20Tuscon)

Internships at the International Rescue Committee in Tucson provide college students and recent graduates with opportunities to gain professional experiences and exposure to different fields. Interns learn to work in a multi-cultural environment, build professional networks within the community and cultivate adaptability and creativity in a dynamic world. 

Steps to becoming a Spring or Fall Semester Intern:

This is an unpaid internship but course credit is often available. Interns are accepted for the Spring and Fall semesters on a rolling basis and are expected to work a minimum of 10 to 15 hours a week for the duration of the semester. All internships take place during business hours (8 am to 5pm Mon-Fri) unless otherwise noted on the position description. Interns must be at least 18 years of age and be able to pass a criminal history check.

  1. Get to know the IRC in Tucson and learn more about how you can be involved by attending a monthly information session. To find out when the next Information Session is scheduled and to RSVP, email us at VolunteerTucson [at] rescue.org
  2. When you are ready to join the IRC as an intern, apply using our online system. To see a list of current internship openings, please see the position descriptions below. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Positions marked with an asterisk have already been filled.
  3. Complete an interview with the specific department supervisor to determine whether there is an appropriate internship position available for you.
  4. Once you complete an interview and accept an offer, the IRC will conduct a background check through HireRight. Your internship placement will only be confirmed after your background check is cleared. All IRC Tucson interns working directly with refugee clients must also procure a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card. 
  5. When your placement is confirmed, the Volunteer Coordinator will work with you and the supervisor to schedule your first day. All newly accepted interns are required to attend a training session to learn about office policies, confidentiality, and communication guidelines, and to make all efforts to participate in ongoing training opportunities. The application process typically takes at least three weeks to complete (including the background check).

Steps to becoming a Summer Intern:

This is an unpaid internship but course credit is often available. Interns are expected to work a minimum of 20 to 25 hours a week for the duration of at least 10 weeks. All internships take place during business hours (8 am to 5pm Mon-Fri) unless otherwise noted on the position description. Interns must be at least 18 years of age and be able to pass a criminal history check. The instructions and deadline to apply for a 2020 Summer Internship will be posted in early Spring.

 

Internship Positions

 

 

Family and Youth Case Management Support Intern

Position Description:

The Family and Youth Specialist will help in some of the most vital areas of refugee resettlement work. Interns assist with core services including: applying for and enrolling clients in social service programs and school enrollment, apartment set-up, airport pick-up assistance, and other case management related tasks. Interns will gain experience networking with community service providers and communicating with people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Responsibilities:

  • Prepare apartments for incoming refugee families
  • Manage client files and track necessary services
  • Assist Case Managers in enrolling clients to eligible community services
  • Accompany refugee clients on appointments and interviews with community service providers
  • Assist supervising Case Manager with intensive cases as they arise
  • Coordinate with Case Management to ensure services are being received

Requirements:

  • Pursuing a degree in a related field
  • Punctuality, excellent time management skills, and a flexible schedule
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information
  • Proficiency in a foreign language is preferred, but not required
  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle

 

Nutrition and Food Security Intern 

Position Description:

The Nutrition and Food Security Intern works in close coordination with Case Managers to educate newly arrived refugee families about nutrition and how to access nutritious foods in their communities.  Through home visits and field trips, the NFS Intern will implement nutrition education curriculum around meal planning, food safety, storage, and health and wellness through diet choices.  The goal of this program is to teach new families to make healthy meal choices from day one and be an active participant in their own preventative health plan. 

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate with interpreters, case managers and newly arrived families to implement nutrition curriculum within first two weeks of arrival
  • Transport families to local grocery stores to implement curriculum on how to identify and purchase nutritious foods
  • Conduct follow up visits with the family to provide additional education around meal planning and selecting nutritious alternatives as appropriate for family composition
  • Identify basic health issues related to nutritional deficiencies and adapt curriculum to meet these educational needs
  • Track and document all field activities. 

Requirements:

  • Background in diet and nutrition education
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds; strong interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrated teaching skills, especially with English language learners
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle.
  • Ability to self direct and communicate effectively
  • Ability to multi-task and direct students of all ages in loud and unstructured environments

 

New Roots Gardening Intern

Position Description:

The New Roots program at IRC is an initiative to support gardening, food security, nutrition, enterprise, and production within the US network of IRC offices. The New Roots Intern would provide support in order to increase the capacity of New Roots programming at IRC in Tucson. In partnership with other local programs the New Roots Intern would assist with community gardening and food access with IRC clients. The New Roots Intern would help maintain the gardening program to increase access to locally grown and healthy foods and work to increase the overall health of our community.

Responsibilities:

  • Support development of New Roots initiative in Tucson through collaboration with IRC staff.
  • Coordinate with other community agencies which focus on community gardening to maintain community gardens in locations of easy access for refugee clients.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of community programming on increasing healthy food access, engaging neighborhood residents, and changing food consumption behavior.
  • Assist in securing donations of materials and technical advice to support for community gardeners.
  • Coordinate usage of interpreters to facilitate community farmer communication during meetings.
  • Assist in development and management of garden infrastructure
  • Maintaining intern and New Roots garden plots

Requirements:

  • Working towards a degree in a related field
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in food issues, gardening, garden design, or food security issues, preferably in a multicultural context.
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively as a team member in a multicultural environment.
  • Organized with great attention to detail and great flexibility.
  • Creativity and initiative to follow through on projects and ability to work independently.
  • Strong writing and editing skills, specifically in developing print and visual training materials.  Experience with computer-based interactive training tools a plus. 
  • Driver’s license, vehicle, auto insurance, and clean driving record

Learning Opportunities:

  • Practice communicating with limited English speakers
  • Practice languages you may be learning (Swahili, Arabic, Nepali, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda)
  • Gain a better understanding of the challenges associated with food access in a “food desert”

Commitment:

  • One full business day required, and availability in evening hours for garden workshops preferred

 

Survivors of Torture and Behavioral Health Case Management Intern

Position Description:

Interns will work with the Licensed Clinical Therapist in providing culturally appropriate intensive case management services for clients enrolled in the Behavioral Health or Survivors of Torture Program.

Responsibilities:

  • Schedule medical, mental health and specialist appointments for program participants.
  • Secure interpreters for intake appointments with non-English speaking clients.
  • Assist participants with transportation for appointments and services as necessary.
  • Keep thorough and complete case notes, and update interdepartmental computer database as necessary.
  • Assist with projects and administrative duties as assigned by the Clinician. 

Requirements

  • Pursuing degree in Mental/Behavioral Health field, or at least 1 year related experience
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in a second language strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently with attention to detail
  • Strong problem-solving and organization skills
  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle

 

Health and Medical Advocacy Intern 

Position Description:

Upon arrival to the United States and throughout their first few years, refugees and asylees face numerous hurdles to effectively navigate the US healthcare system and accessing important community health resources. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) works one-on-one with clients to meet each of their unique health needs. Health Advocate Interns plays an important role in IRC's mission. The interns work in close coordination with IRC's Medical Case Manager and local healthcare providers to coordinate and advocate for the healthcare and preventative health needs of refugee/asylee clients. By arranging appointments, teaching basic preventative health measures, and networking with healthcare providers, Health Advocate Interns gain valuable experience working with clients and interpreters of diverse cultural backgrounds, hone skills in case noting, and develop expertise in navigating the US medical system, including Arizona's Medicaid.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate scheduling, interpreters and transportation for all new arrivals to establish care with a PCP and follow up as necessary
  • Serve as patient advocate, accompany clients to medical appointments, transport clients for lab work and other diagnostic testing, and report follow-up and referrals from providers
  • Recording activities as directed and timely reporting to the Medical Case Manager.
  • Provide training to clients regarding pharmacy services and understanding how to access prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Assist clients to become self sufficient in accessing transportation to medical appointments by providing trainings and assisting with applications to special transportation services as needed.
  • Work closely with the Medical Case Manager to assist clients to find health resources which best meet their needs.
  • Reinforce clients’ understanding of treatment instructions and referral and specialist follow up care.

Requirements:

  • Pursuing degree in health sciences, social work or possessing equivalent experience.
  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Understanding and ability to maintain strict confidentiality regarding client information.
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle.

 

Reception and Administrative Services Intern

Position Description:

The Reception Services Intern assists the Office Manager in prescreening walk-in clients and directing them towards the appropriate IRC service. The Intern will gain valuable experience in office operations and benefit from broad exposure to each segment of IRC’s work.

Responsibilities:

  • Receive all walk-in clients in a courteous manner and maintain an orderly waiting area
  • Assess initial client needs and notify appropriate staff
  • Answer and direct incoming calls in a timely manner
  • Receive and distribute incoming mail and faxes
  • Assist with the processing of monthly Development and Administrative reports
  • Other tasks and projects as directed by supervisor

Requirements:

  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds
  • Knowledge of professional office operating policies
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information 
  • Proficiency in MS Office preferred
  • Strong verbal and written skills in English
  • Punctual and reliable

 

Employment and Economic Development Intern

Position Description:

The Employment and Economic Development (EED) Intern supports EED Staff in assisting refugee clients secure their first jobs in the United States and guiding them towards successful integration into the American workplace. Interns will gain familiarity in cross-cultural training techniques, skills development and hiring procedures of area businesses.

Responsibilities:

  • Provides direct and administrative services to clients in the following areas:
  • Resume preparation;
  • Online and paper job applications;
  • Job Readiness Training (JRT) classroom instruction;
  • Client transport to interviews and other post-placement assistance;
  • Research job opportunities;
  • Client file management;
  • Skill specific projects as assigned by Program Coordinator.

Requirements:

  • Knowledge of employer expectations, job retention, and job search techniques
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information 
  • Strong verbal and written skills in English
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds 
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle

 

Immigration Services Intern

Position Description:

Immigration Services Interns and Fellows work with the Immigration Program Manager to directly assist clients with the processing and filing of applications for family reunification, lawful permanent residence, affidavits of relationship, and other immigration petitions necessary to receive legal residency in the United States and reunite family members. Interns and Fellows may also contribute to marketing and community education strategies which raise awareness about IRC immigration services.

Responsibilities:

  • Set-up and conduct intake and immigration interviews with assistance from an interpreter and immigration staff.
  • Prepare and complete immigration applications and petitions on behalf of refugees, asylees, and immigrants for submission to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Conduct follow-up, including written and telephone communication with USCIS and respond to requests for further evidence and inquiries.
  • Maintain case files by copying, faxing, and inputting information in immigration case management database.
  • Notify clients of USCIS interviews; ensure they have immunization records, photos, and other required documents complete and available for the interview.
  • Assist the Director to complete Affidavits of Relationship for family reunification; manage case files and client communication.
  • Conduct community outreach to refugee and immigrant population.
  • Assist with projects and administrative duties as assigned by the Immigration Program Manager. 

Requirements:

  • Strong desire to learn about refugee resettlement and immigration issues
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information.
  • Proficiency in another language is preferred, but not required
  • Excellent time management skills, organized and attentive to detail
  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural background

 

Cultural Orientation Intern

Position Description:

The IRC in Tucson’s Cultural Orientation Program is designed to provide a holistic and integrated approach to educating refugees during their first week of resettlement in the United States. The Program provides structured trainings to newly arrived refugees and asylees to familiarize them with their new environment and inform them of available services. The Cultural Orientation Intern will support Staff with logistical organization and materials preparation for these training sessions and will actively work with clients to facilitate more thorough absorption and processing of vital information.

Responsibilities:

  • Prepare programmatic materials for the Cultural Orientation Program including handouts and laminated activity cards.
  • Compile necessary materials into individualized client packets.
  • Assist in Cultural Orientation training activities and drills as directed by CO Instructor.
  • Assist Staff with transportation of participating clients to and from the IRC office.
  • Train clients to ride public transportation to and from their homes to the IRC office.
  • Conduct Tucson Highlights bus tours with newly arrived clients.
  • Support Cultural Orientation Coordinator in additional tasks as necessary to design, maintain and improve the Cultural Orientation Program.

Requirements:

  • Punctuality, excellent time management skills, and a flexible schedule
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information
  • Proficiency in foreign language is preferred, but not required
  • Office experience a plus, but training will be provided
  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle

Commitment:

  • Preferred availability on either Mondays or Fridays.

Reports To: Education and Learning Coordinator

 

New Roots Agricultural Intern

Position Description:

New Roots Tucson supports refugee food security and aids in their transition to the community through gardening, nutrition education, local food access initiatives and small business farming. We are looking for committed, inventive, hard-working, and enthusiastic individuals with interests in organic farming and community empowerment. The position works alongside a New Roots staff member on site of the farm as well as planning in the office. The farm program of IRC Tucson entails rigorous training to equip refugee farmers with the hands-on skills and business know-how in order for them to farm independently and successfully in their future. Interns must be solution-oriented team builders who possess passion and capacities to focus troubleshoot, and pursue projects with initiative. Major projects include: Leading workshops, Building Soil, Seedling transplant, Rainwater collection systems, Harvesting, Marketing, Seed saving and storing. The program is led at two different farm sites and the IRC office.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with preparation and presentation of workshops to farmers
  • Scheduling and making reminder phone calls
  • Help farmers plan and start seeds in greenhouse
  • Track inventory of seeds, tools and materials for the farm program
  • Be involved with land preparation, farm design, and planting process
  • Coordinate and assist with packaging of retail harvests
  • Maintain farm infrastructure and New Roots Farm plots

Requirements:

  • Suggested for candidates currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Background in agriculture preferred
  • Experience with ESL learners and communication via interpreter to non-English speakers desired
  • Motivated, creative, reliable and able to work independently
  • Access to transportation for accessing farm, market and office locations

Learning opportunities:

  • Sustainable agriculture methods in urban environments
  • Global farming methods
  • Local food marketing
  • Food justice and food system methodologies as related to refugees and immigrants
  • Skills to educate those of diverse backgrounds and multiple languages

Commitment:

  • Availability in evening hours for workshops, early mornings during summer months

Locations: Literacy Garden 200 E Yavapai Rd; Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Farm 2405 S Cottonwood Ln; and IRC Office

 

Housing and Family Support

Position Description:

The Housing and Family Support Intern works in close coordination with the Housing Coordinator, apartment managers, and refugee families to provide pre and post arrival casework services. The intern will assist in orienting new families to the basics of apartment living as well as housing rights and responsibilities in the United States. The intern will primarily work directly with new families at their homes and in the field, but will also be expected to provide valuable support by completing office-related tasks. The applicant will gain valuable experience working with the refugee community and community partners.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead in-home housing education sessions for new families with the assistance of an interpreter.
  • Work with new families to complete housing-related tasks such as submitting maintenance requests, purchasing money orders, and paying rent and utility bills.
  • Prepare housing for new families prior to airport arrival by purchasing necessary household items and culturally appropriate foods.
  • Assist new families to apply for and transition into subsidized housing programs through HUD, Section 8, and City of Tucson Public Housing.
  • Improve upon existing housing resources and develop new educational materials.
  • Work with the Housing Coordinator to maintain and establish new relationships with apartment managers and housing providers in the Tucson area.
  • Document all services provided using various databases and data tracking systems.

Requirements:

  • Strong intercultural communication skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from other cultural backgrounds.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Understanding and ability to maintain strict confidentiality regarding client information.
  • Driver’s license, personal vehicle, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and willingness to drive clients in personal vehicle.

 

Job Readiness Training

Position Description:

The IRC in Tucson seeks an intern to support our Economic Empowerment Unit by helping clients complete job training classes. Through the Job Readiness Training (JRT) classes, refugees resettled by the IRC in Tucson receive information on finding employment in Tucson, workplace culture in the US, how to apply and interview for jobs, and rights and responsibilities in the workplace. The intern will assist the JRT AmeriCorps with facilitating JRT classes by supporting classroom activities such as mock interviews and filling out applications. Additionally, volunteers may administer the JRT pre/post assessment to clients with the help of an interpreter. JRT class is held Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1-3pm.

Responsibilities:

  • Support the Job Readiness Training AmeriCorps in facilitating JRT curriculum.
  • Conduct mock interviews and help clients fill out applications.
  • Administer JRT pre-post assessments with the help of an interpreter.
  • Complete other tasks as assigned.

Requirements:

  • Must be comfortable in an English-learner classroom setting; willing to patiently and clearly communicate with limited English speakers.
  • Must be patient, flexible, and creative.
  • Experience working with diverse backgrounds preferred. 
  • ESL teaching experience preferred.
  • Access to reliable personal vehicle preferred but not required.

Learning opportunities:

  • Practice teaching in an English-learner classroom.
  • Practice languages you may be learning (Kiswahili, Arabic, Kinyarwanda, etc.).
  • Learn about the refugee resettlement process and how refugees find jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Commitment:

  • Preferred availability during JRT class on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1-3pm.