IN MY BACKYARD MENTORS (19-27 YEARS OLD)
We’re now accepting applications through March 24, 2019!
National Park Service Internship Opportunity
As the National Park Service steps into its second century, the In My Backyard (IMBY) team at Seattle Area National Park Sites aims to increase youth engagement and continue connecting communities with national parks. The IMBY program enables IMBY Mentors (19-27 year olds) to give back to the park’s shared community through facilitation of youth programming with IMBY Interns (13-18 year olds). IMBY’s youth program was developed by past IMBY Mentors with the specific goal of fostering better relationships between diverse youth and the National Park Service.
The foundation of IMBY’s youth programming is to provide a sense of belonging for young people in their shared public lands, including those that may not feel welcome or represented within the National Park Service. National Park Service staff and IMBY Mentors will help IMBY Interns discover a sense of place within public lands, regardless of background or experience. IMBY Mentors will be the primary facilitators of the youth program which includes leading activities, discussions, and workshops that correspond with designated weekly themes for the IMBY Interns. Typically, four to five IMBY Mentors compose the IMBY Mentor team each season. In IMBY 2018 Summer season, there were four IMBY Mentors and nine IMBY Interns.
Historically, there has been a disconnect between the National Park Service and communities of color. In addition to the homogenous staff, the National Park Service is further problematized by its lack of youth involvement and inclusionary actions. This opportunity is part of a long-term project initiated by Seattle Area National Parks to increase youth and community engagement. IMBY is based out of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Seattle (KLSE) and is in partnership with the nonprofit Discover Your Northwest (DYNW). Since summer of 2013, KLSE rangers, interns, teachers, and volunteers have guided the program. The IMBY Intern program was created in collaboration with the IMBY Summer 2017 cohort and a Greening Youth Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and University intern. The goal of this project is to foster a sense of belonging among youth in federal lands, including youth of color from diverse, local communities.
IMBY MENTOR DUTIES
Mentors meet on Mondays for 4 hours, Tuesdays for 8 hours, and Thursdays for 8 hours. The program is a 20-week commitment from May through September:
- 7 weeks for IMBY Mentor preparation and professional development from May to June (20 hours per week)
- 10 weeks with IMBY Interns from June through August (20 hours per week)
- 3 weeks for IMBY Mentor debrief and preparation for next cohort (20 hours per week)
The curriculum is designed with weekly themes and expected learning outcomes with the flexibility for IMBY Mentors to customize activities and subjects. This is an opportunity for IMBY Mentors to use their creativity and explore topics that interest them and their IMBY Interns.
IMBY Mentors are expected to act as professional, positive, and supportive resources for IMBY Interns. This program will cover topics that may be sensitive for some individuals so it is important that the program and its participants work together to foster a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
Along with implementing and mentoring IMBY Interns, duties of the four to five IMBY Mentors may include:
- Representing the NPS at community events aimed at engaging diverse audiences – especially where national parks have been historically absent or inaccessible
- Providing front-line visitor services and interpretation in the KLSE visitor center
- 19-27 year old applicants of all educational and experiential backgrounds are welcome to apply
- Possess a deep commitment to serving their community and an aspiration to guide youth
- Experience working with youth and/or diverse populations
- Interest in environmental/historical/cultural conservation, outdoor recreation, cultural affairs, social justice, youth outreach and development, education, etc.
- Commitment to equity and inclusivity
- Attention to detail and highly organized
- Ability to create a plan, execute, and meet deadlines
- Strong project management and planning skills
- High degree of flexibility and ability to manage multiple tasks and competing priorities
- Strong work ethic and high-level professionalism
- Ability to communicate effectively/appropriately, and work independently, as well as a part of a team
- If an applicant does not meet the desired qualifications, professional development opportunities are available for this position
IMBY MENTOR OUTCOMES
IMBY Mentors are rewarded with a total $4,400 stipend distributed bi-weekly during the entirety of the 20-week commitment. Upon completion of the program, participants will have received valuable insight from NPS staff on resume building, professional development, and networking. Several opportunities to connect with federal government employees and community organizations will be available. IMBY Mentors will gain direct experience in youth outreach and education, curriculum development and facilitation, and public speaking. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals to personalize their program experience to meet their educational and professional goals.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF THE POSITION
- Develop meaningful connections with IMBY Interns, fellow IMBY Mentors, and NPS Staff
- One offsite expense-paid trip to a National Park Site
- One overnight expense-paid camping trip to a National Park Site
- Behind the scenes look at the National Park Service
- Hands-on experience working in a National Park Site
- Conservation leadership experience
- Inspire the next generation of NPS stewards!
Interested applicants should send their resume and cover letter to Kelsey_Johnson@nps.gov by March 24, 2019. Please include any relevant experience, skills, and special interests in submission materials.
If you would like to learn more about the project, check out Our Story page!