Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. - Students and recent graduates from colleges across the United States are experiencing what could become a life-changing opportunity in the Minority College Relations Program.

There are 33 interns participating in MCRP's spring 2010 internship program, including 15 at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. The 15-week internship at nine Army installations runs from January through April and focuses on getting students integrated into the federal work place and shows them many different ways to serve the nation, aside from military service.

"The goal of MCRP is not only to give students an opportunity, but to make contacts and decide if this is something they want to pursue," said Rebecca Peterson, Minority College Relations Program coordinator.

Eva Alferez, a junior from the University of Texas at El Paso who is majoring in international business and finance, said the MCRP's program seemed like an interesting internship that would hopefully open many doors for her.

"When I applied I never thought I would be called back, but then when I least expected it, I got the call and was offered the internship," Alferez said.

Alferez is working at the Army Sustainment Command Resource Management Directorate at RIA. She has been working on a new accounting system that is to be introduced Army-wide in the next 12 to 18 months.

"It's a fun, life-changing experience," Alferez said. "You learn new things, meet many new people and start getting a feeling of what you would like to do with the rest of your life. It gives you great tools to prepare yourself for the future. Then, you see past interns that are now full-time employees and it gives you a little bit of hope."

Even if an intern hopes to become a full-time employee and is not selected, they have another option. MCRP is not just a one-time opportunity, so interns are eligible to apply again and come back to the program to get more hands-on experience.

Andre Davidson, a senior at Alabama A&M Huntsville, majoring in electrical engineering, is doing just that.

"I got interested in the MCRP when I got an e-mail from them last year through my career development service," Davidson said. "I interned last year (spring 2009) and liked the experience and the diversity of learning in engineering through government work and projects."

Davidson is at Tooele, Utah, and is working with the engineering and manufacturing department, or AEMD. He expects to become involved in a lot of hands-on projects from technical work to engineering work.

Anthony Bradley, a senior at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, majoring in business, thought coming to RIA would be a new and fun experience that would in turn increase his chances to be employed with the government and would boost his resume.

"I feel like they have the best jobs around from job security, promotion and pay," Bradley said.
Bradley is working at the Rock Island Contracting Center at RIA, interning at the Common Access Card (CAC) department for contractors. He has already done a lot of training and is looking forward to starting more difficult tasks.

"I would suggest this internship to anyone that's in school," Bradley said. "I have taken in so much information, learned about so many positions and other programs that are available. I feel like I have a great chance at getting a position; be it a job or internship."

To be eligible, interns must be a junior, senior or recent graduate of a four-year college or university that is historically an African-American, Hispanic, tribal or other minority institution. Students and recent graduates must be U.S. citizens and pass a background check.

To complete their internship, interns from all nine installations will have to make a PowerPoint presentation to their commander, explaining their assignments and what they learned from their experience.

Other interns include:
Ashanti Brown, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Laura Salas, University of Texas-El Paso; Elisha Crossley, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Felicia Brown, North Carolina A&T; Renee Styron, North Carolina A&T; Sharee Ashford, Fort Valley State; Aaron Thomas, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Danielle Toste, New Mexico State University; Courtney Hudson, New Mexico Highlands University; David Adams, New Mexico State University; Suhail Farooq, Florida International University; Senora Bradford, Alabama A&M; Carolyn Bullock, St Paul's College, Va.; Carlton Curry, Tuskegee University, Al.; Nicholas Tanner, New Mexico State University; Hanifah Parker Morrison, North Carolina A&T; Eric Clifton, New Mexico State University; Derek Metts, Georgia Southern University; Marco Garay, New Mexico State University; Melissa Vesprey, North Carolina A&T; Stephanie Johnson, Georgia Southern University; Cory Britt, Alabama A&M; Jacque Lopez, North Carolina A&T; Jeronika Daniels, Jackson State University; Chukwuso Oputa, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Anika Wallace, Fort Valley State University; Adam Lee, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Shanell Haley, Howard University, Md.; Jesus Martinez, New Mexico State University; and Harland Patton, Alabama A&M.

Page last updated Wed March 31st, 2010 at 15:37