Interns Integrate Learning & Service

Summer is a time for many to learn new skills and have different experiences. Eight college students are exploring potential careers and giving back at Baldwin this summer. Four of the students are part of a long-term partnership with Birmingham First United Methodist Church that provides paid staff for the summer enrichment camp and provides young adults an opportunity to explore different mission opportunities. The other interns are receiving college credit but are unpaid.

Mike Nelson teaches chalk-art to a 5th grader in the summer camp.

In the summer enrichment camp they are helping to facilitate extracurricular activities, assist certified teachers in their lessons, and provide mentoring and leadership to the camp participants. Another intern is providing tutoring and mentoring to adults in the GED-preparation program, while still two more assist in volunteer management, volunteer work group leadership, and administration. The interns come from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, and in that way, represent the rich history of men and women who have left their mark on the Center and its clients.

The 2012 class of Baldwin summer interns includes:

Jason Cummings (Baker College ’12 – Human Services) – Human Services & Youth Program Intern

Michelle Doucette (Oakland University ’13 – Human Resources) – Volunteer Management Intern

Emily Fitzgerald (Univ. Detroit Mercy Law School ’15 – Juris Doctorate) – Youth Program Intern

Jackie Garlinghouse (Grand Valley State Univ. ’15 – Criminal Justice) – Youth Program Intern

Katie Harris (Brown University ’15 – International Relations) – Youth Program Intern

Linda Najar (Baker College ’13 – Human Services) – Human & Adult Services Intern

Mike Nelson (Michigan State University ’14 – History & Computer Science) – Youth Program Intern

Barclay Oudersluys (University of Michigan ’14 – Nuclear Physics) – Volunteer Project Management Intern

Intern schedules vary based on course and program requirements, but each intern has shared how valuable their experience has been. “There is so much work to do, and I’m learning so many things within my field of human services,” reflected Jason Cummings. “My internship is teaching me a lot about what it looks like to work with the low-income population.” Katie Harris shared how impressive Baldwin’s volunteer corps is. “I think its great that so many volunteers come on such a consistent basis to help out. The most rewarding thing about being here is just seeing the small day-by-day improvements that happen in the lives of these kids.”

Katie Harris uses technology while working with a 4th grader in the summer camp.

Most internships with the Baldwin Center qualify student-interns for credit through their school. While budget limitations prevent Baldwin Center from providing monetary remuneration for the hours of service they commit, First United Methodist Church of Birmingham graciously provided financial assistance to four interns who are also members of their congregation. As of July 24, Baldwin’s eight interns have collectively contributed almost 4,000 hours to vital programs which serve this community – an impressive commitment to a community in need!

If you have questions for our interns, or wish to get involved as an intern or volunteer, visit here, or contact Alex Plum, Community Affairs Coordinator, at 248-332-6101 or email


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