Internship program for healthcare students creates real community impact

A program through the State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Foundation is providing Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) students with on-the-job experience and impacting the community.

The SECU Public Fellows Internship Program, offered in partnership with WSSU's Career Development Services, will provide up to $100,000 for internships this year ($5,000 per student). 

The program helps seniors in the healthcare management program who must complete an unpaid semester-long internship as part of their graduation requirements. 

"The SECU Public Fellows Internship Program is contributing to our students' success," said Montrale Boykin, chair of the healthcare management program at WSSU. "Many of our students are working full time evenings to pay for their college expenses. The fellowship relieves some of the strain that can come with completing a full-time unpaid internship." 

This is the second year WSSU has received support from SECU. Since the program began, about 35 healthcare management students have benefited. Another five students are expected to receive funding over the summer. 

The program also has a tangible community impact, since students are working at businesses and nonprofits that may not be able to afford to pay interns, Boykin said. 

"Our students are putting into practice the organizational theory, business concepts and healthcare knowledge gained during their coursework," he said. "We encourage students to develop one goal that aligns with health equity and cultural competency, part of WSSU's Strategic Plan. Therefore, the impact to the community is often significant."   

Healthcare management students have completed internships at nearly 50 sites throughout the region over the past year, including health departments in Forsyth, Guilford, Davidson and Yadkin counties, the March of Dimes, the Forsyth County American Heart Association, and Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Elkin. 

The healthcare management program, part of WSSU's School of Health Sciences, prepares graduates to work in a business or managerial capacity within a healthcare setting.

About Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment. 

Montrale Boykin

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