Changing the world starts at home. Home to Texas is a summer internship program developed through a collaboration between the IC² Institute and the School of Undergraduate Studies that provides undergraduates at The University of Texas at Austin with a chance to work in their hometowns and to learn about the core values of their communities. The program enlists the help of Texas Exes to identify internship opportunities. On top of the paid internships, students engage in interviews and discussions with community, business, and government leaders to learn about the places where they grew up.
The Home to Texas students take the results of their interviews and report on what they have learned. As a result, these students develop a deeper appreciation of their communities, which increases the chance they will consider returning home after graduation. This program demonstrates the university’s commitment to improving economic development in rural and underserved areas, solidifies UT’s relationship with alumni, and reinforces connections between the university and regional and state leaders.
Home To Texas was piloted in June and July with nine students interning in four towns. Six students worked in McAllen, one student in Brenham, one in Amarillo, and one in Kerrville.
On July 29, Dean of Undergraduate Studies Brent Iverson accompanied Art Markman, College of Fine Arts faculty member and executive director of IC² Institute, and Gregory Pogue, deputy executive director of IC² Institute, to McAllen, Texas to meet with students, employers, Texas Exes, and members of the community participating in Home To Texas. Iverson said, “We owe a huge thank you to Sharon Flores for her incredible hospitality and for hosting and organizing this event.”
“We want to make sure students are more engaged in their hometowns,” Iverson said. “When I asked students in McAllen to characterize their experiences this summer, the number one thing I heard was ‘connections.’ They made new connections to their communities and to the people in their communities. I’m very excited to see how this program grows across the state of Texas.”
Students and employers interested in participating in the summer 2020 program should contact email@example.com.