The links between Albion College, the City of Albion and the surrounding community provide incredible opportunities for students to learn at the same time they are giving back to the community. Albion has become a laboratory for small town revitalization. There is no place in America better suited to provide hands- on learning about issues that matter to every small town in our country!
It is a tribute to the scholarship that has continued here at Albion College for 180 years that a group of alumni who graduated more than a half century ago still care so much about those who have come after them. The Class of 1960 continues to demonstrate the value of our Albion network to our current students. This endowment will ensure that students interested in working in Albion will have that opportunity for years to come.
City of Albion
A Public Policy major, Noah Flint, '23, learned about city government by interning for the Albion Planning and Building Director. Noah took on large projects such as researching local ordinances of other Michigan cities, combing through permits to ensure proper revenue was collected, and assisting with the rewrite of a guide to development. Noah also participated in more day-to-day tasks focused on code enforcement and sign regulations.
This experience solidified Noah's career interest in urban planning. He was inspired to attend various community and college meetings regarding planning in Albion and he hopes to write his senior thesis on this topic. According to Noah, he "very much enjoyed interning at City Hall and am grateful for the knowledge" that it gave him about his academic and career interests.
City of Albion
Working directly for Mayor Dave Atchison, Jim Takeshita, ’21, led the city’s Public Affairs department. Jim was able to learn about how city government functions, as his main task was to compile a monthly newsletter to be released by the city. He attended city council meetings and reported on activities in city hall, interviewed various city government employees, and spoke with different community members who lead prominent organizations.
Even though he did not have a background in public relations, Jim enjoyed the chance to study how a small city operates. He feels his internship “was definitely a rewarding experience to be able to observe city government up close, build relationships with local officials, and report on city business.”
Albion Community Foundation
As a Communications Intern, Jean Gaffney, ’20, received an education in nonprofit management. On behalf of the Albion Community Foundation, she led the charge for a volunteering program by meeting with local organizations to get them involved and creating a public relations proposal that included a website that she designed. Jean also worked on securing financial resources for the non-profit Bohm Theatre by writing seven grant applications that in total requested over $50,000 in funding.
Jean was extremely appreciative of this experience, stating “the Albion Community Foundation helped me grow as a young professional. The Executive Director took time to teach me about the foundation and different strategies for projects. I enjoyed every hour I spent at the Community Foundation, and I believe that the foundation is a wonderful place to intern for students that are interested in foundation and non-profit work.”
Albion Reinvestment Corporation
"How do we get more students downtown?" That was the main question that Shreeya Aryal, '20, tried to answer with her internship. She researched the flow of students in downtown Albion, spending significant time in numerous businesses. Shreeya also spoke with campus leaders on how bridge the communication gap with downtown Albion and developed an Ambassadors program that uses enthusiastic students to encourage their peers to shop downtown. Finally, she organized a group of volunteers to decorate vacant storefront windows for the holidays.
Working with the Albion Reinvest Corporation showed Shreeya how to assist economic development of a small town. Says Shreeya, "I have a better understanding of downtown revitalization, something I want to continue working on in the future."
Albion District Library
A budding activist, Jasmine Maddox, '20, spent the fall working in the archives of the Albion District Library. Her specific task was to organize and catalog their collection of urban renewal documents from the 1960's. Jasmine shifted through hundreds of documents, met with individuals who remember what happened, and made the collection more accessible for the public and future researchers. She will continue her work in the spring and interview individuals directly affected by urban renewal in Albion.
Jasmine thoroughly enjoyed her experience and has relished in making a positive impact on the Albion community just as the community has on her: "when I read personal testimonies about how urban renewal impacted Albion, I recognized my privilege and it has me eager to tell the stories of others."
With an individually designed major revolving around how technology can help a community, Alexandria Adle, '20, spent the 2019 spring and summer as a marketing intern for the Bohm Theatre. She managed social media accounts and created graphics for the nonprofit theater that not only helped raise awareness for different events, but shared the history of the Bohm as well. A talented photographer, Alexandria also took photos during special events and launched a photo contest.
Alexandria will continue working for the Bohm Theater as an employee. Her internship has better prepared her for a career of service, stating: "My experiences with learning how to market and expand the Bohm's presence online and offline have helped me acquire valuable skills that will be critical in later life ventures."
Summit Pointe Housing
Hannah Reamer, '20, spent the spring semester combating homelessness in Calhoun County with the housing department of Summit Pointe, a nonprofit provider of mental health care and social services. Along with creating newsletters, fact sheets, and a Facebook page for the Homeless Coalition of Calhoun County, Hannah assisted with intake meetings for families seeking housing. She also helped with an annual count of homeless individuals, distributing resources and aided people in completing their paperwork for assistance.
This internship opened Hannah's eyes to what public service really means: "Now, I see public service as something greater than cleaning up trash or working on a park for the community. It's about coming together, it's about achieving goals, it's about the common good, and it's about doing it all out of the kindness of your heart."
Albion District Library
A public library is more than "a quiet place where the books live;" it is an important community resource. Bekah Jevfert, '19, was exposed to a wide range of library services while working for the Albion District Library. As an intern, Bekah catalogued city directories and newspapers that dated back to the late 1800's, helped with collection management, designed and curated different display cases, assisted with special events, and drafted correspondence for the GED program.
Not only did Bekah learn about a powerful asset in the community, but she explored a possible career path as well, stating: "my internship for Ford at the Albion District Library was as enjoyable as it was educational; it helped advance my analytical, organizational, creative, and developmental skills through a multitude of activities and projects and enlightened me on the possibilities of a career within library science."