Nonprofit agencies hire work-studies

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Externships and internships are available for spring and summer.

By Cynthia M. Herrera

For the first time, Alamo Colleges students will have the opportunity to work with nonprofits.

Martha Treviño, program coordinator for experiential learning, said the program is no longer accepting applications because more than 100 students applied for 40 off-campus positions.

The work-study program allows students to work for local nonprofits for real-world experience in areas of career interest, she said.

Financial aid specialist Ashley Brooks said the program is made possible by the community services regulation, enacted in 1992.

For 2012-13, the Alamo Colleges employed 545 work-studies, 340 in 2013-14, and 695 in 2014-15.

There are 300 work-study students this fall.

According to federal guidelines, work-studies can work off-campus with federal, state and local agencies in positions that reflect the recipient’s education or career goals and for nonprofits, such as Communities in Schools: Big Brother, Big Sister; Operation Homefront; and Christian Senior Services.

Students are paid $9 per hour for up to 15 hours a week for on- and off-campus positions. Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education.

Although federal guidelines require that wages paid for work-studies should be 75 percent from colleges and 25 percent from non-federal funds, the Alamo Colleges pay 100 percent of the work-study wages from federal funding, and the portion from nonprofit organizations is waived because all of the Alamo Colleges are designated Hispanic-serving institutions.

Next year, nonprofit organizations will pay 10 percent of wages and Alamo Colleges will pay 90 percent, Brooks said.

Diego Gonzalez, teaching sophomore at this college, is a work-study student in an after school program for Good Samaritan Community Services.

“It’s provided me an opportunity to gain experience in a field that I want to get into after I graduate,” Gonzalez said.

Nonprofit organizations have given the Alamo Colleges job descriptions to match students to the organizations.

“We love it. We appreciate it,” said Sarah Miller, volunteer services manager at Family Services Association.

“As a nonprofit we can’t always afford to pay for additional staff, so having college students who are passionate and really looking at furthering their own career really helps us further impact the community and our role in serving those who are truly in need,” she said.

Students may re-apply in December or in January for the spring semester.

Externships, internships and research experience opportunities also will be available.

Externships are one- to two-day student experiences with area employers allowing students to tour facilities and interview or shadow employers.

Applications will be available at

Externships begin in January 2016, and internships are for summer 2016.


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