Luther College junior Kristen Hansen spent the summer interning in Rochester, Minnesota, with the Jeremiah Program, a company that promotes “transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time.”
Hansen, daughter of Raymond and Mary Hansen of Oronoco, Minnesota, is a 2016 graduate of John Marshall High School. She plans to graduate from Luther in 2020 with a major in women and gender studies and minors in English and Africana studies.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Jeremiah Program prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school and reduces generational dependence on public assistance by establishing a supportive community for those mothers to pursue a career-track, college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, the Jeremiah Program’s main goal is for families to find stability and a path out of poverty.
In her internship, Hansen completed research on two-generational human services and nonprofit work. Her internship involved funding and capital campaign work, event planning, meeting preparation and survey analysis. She also coordinated volunteer and participant recruitment and management.
Through her experience, Hansen learned that she is "very interested in two generation, sustainable aid work and wants to continue that in the future," she said. She also discovered that by working in an office setting, "I missed working face-to-face with participants."
"I have always had the goal of going into nonprofit work after obtaining my degrees but this internship helped solidify my interest in that pursuit," Hansen said. The real-life experience of an internship allowed her to narrow her focus and carry out the kind of work she reads about in class.
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 also 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 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 2,005, 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.