By Kattie Parsons
Lee University has recently been awarded a 2012 grant from the
Dr. Scholl Foundation to fund a Chicago summer internship program
in May of 2013.
Over the past 10 years Lee students have been given the
opportunity to participate in internships in the city of Chicago.
Originally this program entailed seven weeks of student teaching
internships. However, within the past five years the program has
shifted to a service focus.
Students now spend three weeks in Chicago participating in a
summer internship through which they fulfill class requirements and
earn 20 service hours by serving an inner-city Chicago community.
While the internships have varied over the years, the past two
years students have worked with Richard Edwards Elementary School
and New Life Centers (NLC) of Chicago.
Throughout the 10 years that Lee has offered this program, the
Dr. Scholl Foundation has awarded grants totaling $55,000 to allow
41 students to serve and intern in Chicago. The newly awarded 2012
grant will provide an additional $5,000 for four students to
participate next summer.
The foundation was established in 1947 by William M. Scholl,
M.D. Dr. Scholl was born to Indiana dairy farmers and earned his
M.D. degree in 1904. While Scholl never practiced medicine, he is
best known for creating one of the world's best-known name brands
through his successful Scholl Manufacturing Company. In 1947 he
created the Dr. Scholl Foundation which aims to provide financial
assistance to "organizations committed to improving our world" and
has since contributed millions of dollars to organizations that
reflect that mission. When Scholl died in 1968 he left the greater
part of his estate to the foundation.
In May 2012, a grant from the foundation allowed four Lee
students to intern in Chicago by providing each student with $1,250
to help cover cost of tuition and expenses. The students who
participated in the 2012 Chicago service internship include Corey
Greer, Megan Grebe, Michelle Hernandez, and Paige Dement. These
students were also joined by Karina Castro, a 2011 participant and
scholarship recipient who returned as a team leader.
The program is currently directed by Dr. Rolando Cuellar,
associate professor of intercultural studies at Lee. Cuellar
recruits students, teaches the class that is connected to the
experience and arranges the internship opportunities in
During the course of their internship these students worked as
English tutors and teachers assistants during the school days at
Richard Edwards Elementary School. When they were not volunteering
at the school they were working in an after-school program at the
NLC in Humboldt Park. They also assisted the NLC with the "Bling"
project teaching women and girls' jewelry-making skills.
"After living and serving among the poor, our students have
returned with a greater understanding of the major challenges that
people face in the inner-city as well as a deeper passion to serve
Christ in similar contexts where they could promote the values of
God's kingdom" said Cuellar. "This internship has been of mutual
benefit not only to Lee students but also to the children and young
people to whom they have made an impact through New Life Community
Church of Humboldt Park and Richard Edwards Elementary School."
For more information about the Dr. Scholl Foundation please
For more information about the Chicago Service Internship
Program please contact Dr. Cuellar at firstname.lastname@example.org or
PHOTOS: Group 1, 2, 3, 4: Lee students intern at the NLC
of Chicago and spend time with students from the community. Also
pictured here is Grebe assisting children with their