Twenty Elizabeth City State University students will have an opportunity to apply for summer 2021 internships thanks to State Employees’ Credit Union’s decision to renew its $100,000 grant to the university.

The SECU provided $100,000 in funding for students to work 32 hours per week at $13 per hour for a variety of organizations.

In April, a group of campus officials from UNC System campuses across the state started an effort to match students without summer internships or jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yolanda Carcana, ECSU’s interim director of career services, was one of the group members.

Through a partnership with the NC COVID-19 Student Response Corp and the UNC School of Government, the students were placed in internships with local government and nonprofit organizations.

“Thanks to this great initiative, ECSU was able to place students whose internships were unexpectedly cancelled or impacted due to COVID-19 with new internships with various organizations throughout North Carolina,” Carcana said. “We look forward to cultivating these internship experiences into potential employment opportunities and careers in public service.”

Students currently enrolled in the program include Tiyana Boyce, who is interning with the city of Elizabeth City; Jimmy Chambers, who is interning with the Union County Sheriff’s Office; and Nyla Harris, an intern with Dental Transformation.

Other organizations accepting students for the summer program are the American Red Cross, Team Rubicon, Elizabeth City Regional Airport, and Vector CSP TCOM.

In addition to the internships, students were provided a free, virtual two-day training session early last month. The training focused on public service.

The student interns will also attend a virtual professional development speaker series throughout the summer.

Harris said she’s grateful for the program and grant and encourages other students to pursue the opportunity.

“I encourage my peers to not give up on applying for internships,” she said. “Once you’re accepted, it’s a foot in the doorway of your future.”