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Interpretive Development Intern

Greening Youth Foundation
Auburn, New York
Closing date
Jul 4, 2022

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Position Type
Full Time
Children and Youth
Organization Type
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NPS Unit: Harriet Tubman National Historical Park

Location: Auburn, NY

NPS Representative: Kimberly Szewczyk

In-Person Position Title: Interpretive Development Intern

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park (HART) is a new park, created in early 2017. Before consistent in-person interpretive programs are provided, a robust and useful website for the park must be created. The park website is the number one means of communication with the public and provides on-demand visitor services.

The Interpretive Development Intern will work closely with park rangers to build out the park's website. The intern will assist in the development of the park's digital strategy, create interpretive web materials that enable visitors to make connections between the park's topics and stories, and research other NPS websites to find existing resources and products that connect to HART thematically or topically and recommend these links for inclusion on the HART website.

As the park strives for relevancy, the intern's opinion on HART's web material's relevancy for youth and underserved audiences will be a valuable asset to the park during this internship.

Learning Goals:

The intern will gain experience in the field of digital media applicable to careers in Digital Marketing, Virtual Education, or as Creative Director. The intern will also practice communication and teamwork skills, provide and receive constructive criticism on products, and learn to produce a solid product meeting NPS guidelines and deadlines. The intern will also learn how the skills developed in school can be applied in the professional world.

The intern will assist in the development of the park's digital strategy; utilize digital media to educate and connect with visitors to further the NPS mission, brand and HART directives. The intern will learn to write articles for a digital audience that are informative, engaging, and thematically and topically connected to the park.


The park embraces the legacy and values of Harriet Tubman as its core values. In the efforts to develop this new park, we are committed to bringing all voices to the table from the community, to our staff, to the public. We are driven to tell all stories in the development of our interpretive program. This internship is a unique opportunity for an intern to help the NPS mold a new park in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

The Senior Interpretive Specialist will work closely with the intern to ensure the intern has the staff interaction, time, and materials for their presentation and experience for their leadership workshop. The intern will be provided the opportunity and guidance to plan, research, produce, and complete a product for the park's website.


The participant should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills; good organizational and time management skills; ability to work effectively in both independent and team-based work environments; and possess computer proficiency to conduct research.

College level senior or graduate student majoring in African American Studies, History, Public History, Museum Studies, Anthropology, Digital Communication, or Social Media.

Additional Qualifications:

-Must be currently enrolled in an accredited HBCU institution

-Must be Between 16 and 35 years of age

-Must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident of U.S. national

-Must be able to pass a federal background check

Position Dates: 5/16/21 thru 7/24/21

Housing Available:

HART has found housing in Auburn in the warmer months to be scarce and expensive. With the park being located in the popular Finger Lakes Region of New York, visitors book early and pay an elevated price for accommodations making housing difficult to find and pay for. In the past, intern housing has been found in communities outside Auburn and further away from the lakes. Housing costs can be estimated using the GSA lodging rate for our area for FY21 of $101 per day.

Auburn has a vibrant downtown with community activities planned on most weekends. Restaurants, bars, and bistros have reopened following state and federal regulations. Cultural and educational venues are once again welcoming visitors. The area has abundant recreational opportunities with Auburn on the shores of Owasco Lake, one of the eleven Finger Lakes, and Lake Ontario located just an hour's drive away. Waterfalls abound and hiking trails are plentiful.

Vehicle/License Requirement: Intern will need a personal vehicle.

Work Environment:

National Park Service staff work in collaboration with the staff of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. (HTH), the National Park Services' legislative partner. HTH generously permits the NPS to use office space in their Administrative Building.

The intern will be embraced from day one as a member of the HART team. As a new park, with few employees, the intern will become quickly acquainted with everyone and be included in the many discussions on the development of the park welcoming their voice at the table! A significant part of this internship will focus on the intern providing feed back to the park regarding their website and relevancy to youth and under-represented groups.

The park is located in the heart of the historic Black community of Auburn, NY. Many of the historic homes in the surrounding area, originally owned by those seeking freedom in the North, are still in the hands of their descendants. The bucolic Fort Hill Cemetery is an easy walk from the park and is where Harriet Tubman was laid to rest. Within a one-mile radius of the park is the YMCA, an upscale grocery store, and the city library.

In-Person Work Plan:

Week One: Enjoy an introduction to the National Park Service, Harriet Tubman National Historical Park and Auburn, NY! Intern will attend on-site tours, become familiar with park facilities, and peruse the exhibits in the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. Visitor Center. Then it is off to visit community partner museums such as the Seward House Museum and the Equal Rights Heritage Center, become acquainted with the Harriet Tubman Collection at the historic Seymour Library and Client the extensive collection at the Cayuga County Historian's office - all to assist in project completion. Meet with the Senior Interpretive Specialist to discuss and develop a work plan and define tasks.

Week Two: On-line training will include Eppley course "Introduction to the NPS," "Introduction to Interpretation," and "Interpretive Writing." Intern will work with the Senior Interpretive Specialist to choose several topics/themes to develop into web articles and evergreen social media posts. The intern will become familiar with regulations necessitated by the NPS to post an article including Section 508 compliance. The research portion of the project begins!

Week Three through Six: Continue research/develop outlines/write drafts/polish finals of four web articles will be developed and reviewed in conjunction with the Senior Interpretive Specialist.

Week Seven through Ten: The intern will develop an on-site STEM youth program exploring the many ways to navigate North. This will inform students how Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers were able to make their way to freedom.

The intern will be introduced to the park's informal interpretation opportunities at the Visitor Center and learn front desk procedures. The intern will also review the NPS website to find products which thematically or topically link to HART. Based on significant dates in Harriet Tubman's life, and those in Black history, evergreen social media posts will be developed. The intern's accomplishment presentation for Intern X will be developed and put in final.
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