Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Internship teaches banking, social responsibility

The Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility is partnering with Regions Bank for a third year to offer the Financial Innovation summer internship.

The eight-week paid summer internship in Birmingham does more than just teach students about banking and finance. Interns also help high school students in the community learn about financial literacy.

(See also “Budget right: students must make concerted effort to meet financial goals“)

Stephen Black, the director of the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, said the internship is an opportunity for college students to get involved in the community while also learning about the work of business and banking.

“This internship is a great example of a company being interested in hiring young people who are committed to traditional company work but feel passionate about making a difference,” Black said.

During the course of the program, which lasts from May 27 to July 18, interns will be expected to work with high schools in the Birmingham area to teach students about financial responsibility. For these students who are typically from low-income families, what they learn in this program could mean the difference between going to college or a life of poverty.

In these low-income communities there is something called a “summer slide,” Balck said. This is when children who are out of school for the summer and whose parents can’t afford to send them to summer camps or internships, turn to less wholesome means of entertainment.

“Having something available that can engage students during the summer is really valuable,” Black said. “Regions is interested in having more impact in low-income communities.”

(See also “Study says 60 percent of internships end in job offers“)

Black has worked with past interns in the program to implement an interactive program called “SummerQuest,” where high school students can complete missions to learn more about financial responsibility. For every mission they accomplish, they earn badges. Badges qualify students to win a grand prize at the end of the summer, which includes a substantial college scholarship.

Last summer, more than 250 high school students participated in the program and spent part of their summer learning skills that could affect their lives down the road.

This is exactly what appealed to one of last year’s interns, Elizabeth Wilson, a junior majoring in finance and economics.

“My favorite part about this internship was the ability to grow my professional skills within the finance industry, while simultaneously being able to invest in the Birmingham community,” Wilson said.

Regions is looking for 10 interns to participate in the program this year. Applications can be sent in online at Regions’ website, and the deadline is April 1.

(See also “Internships favor students with wealthy backgrounds“)

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