Opportunity Saint Paul is an Interfaith program in the greater St. Paul, Minnesota, area that connects people with education-focused volunteering. Rebecka Green, a Luther College junior, spent her summer working as a program support and communications intern for the start-up program, which launched Aug. 17.
Green, the daughter of Todd and Tabita Green of Decorah, Iowa, is a 2014 graduate of Decorah High School. She is majoring in religion and English.
To help get the program off the ground, Green spent her summer recruiting volunteers, creating media and communications materials, and fostering relationships between the local faith communities. The goal of the program is to discuss the opportunities available in the St. Paul area and use interfaith collaboration to create change.
"I was able to see first-hand how service brings people of all religious and non-traditions together to make a positive impact in the community. Compassion for our neighbors and a desire to make the world a better place, is truly the future of focus for interfaith work," said Green.
Through her work recruiting volunteers and developing those relationships, Green discovered her religion major can be used in a variety of ways besides academia and pastoral work.
"Though I was working with religious communities and interfaith work, there was little religious or theological academia utilized in my position. I was able to see just one of the many ways I can use my religion major in the future, such as in nonprofit and other volunteer work," she said.
Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program. Students meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan that includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks. An internship work supervisor also assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students also complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.