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In partnership with the Department of Human Services and Family Sciences at the University of Arkansas.

DS Connection Fall Intern

15-20 Hours Weekly| August 19th – December 7th 

DS Connection Intern (unpaid internship)

Some Saturdays and evenings are required.

 

Key Dates: September 9th, October 14th, October 26th, November 11th, December 7th

 

The Down Syndrome Connection of Northwest Arkansas (DSCNWA) is a small nonprofit organization serving people with Down syndrome and their families in NWA. We offer age specific programming for people with Down syndrome of all ages to promote lifelong learning and develop independence. We also offer support to parents, caregivers and medical professionals with our medical outreach program, new parent support program and other parent groups and educational seminars. DSCNWA has two employees working 30 hours a week (Program Director and Director of Operations), three Volunteer Staff members, a Board of Directors and a large volunteer base.

 

We are seeking a student in the HDFS program at the University of Arkansas to serve as our DS Connection Intern during the Fall 2024 semester. 

 

Qualities we are seeking in the DS Connection Intern:

Self-starter, flexible, innovative, confident, organized, creative, collaborative, a desire to drive change and promote inclusion for people with special needs

Overview of Internship:

The intern will get hands on experience in a variety of different areas of our organization that tie directly to DSCNWA’s Strategic Initiatives and Program Pillars as outlined below. Including a specific responsibility in each area working closely with the Program Director and Director of Operations.

Strategic Initiatives: Sustainable Organization, Trusted Resource, Programming

1.  Age Specific Programming (Programming Strategic Initiative)

The Intern will work with the Program Director to plan and assist in leading age specific programs for all age groups. Programs are based on our Pillars of Programming to promote lifelong learning and independence such as cooking, hygiene, communication and relationships, self-advocacy, and health and wellness.

  • The STARS Club group includes people with Down syndrome ages 13+ and meets three times monthly. Typically, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.

  • The Play PALS group includes people with Down syndrome ages 0-12, plus their siblings and parents and meets once monthly. Typically, on Saturdays.

*The Intern will be responsible for planning and leading one additional Play PALS program in September, October and November under the direction of the Program Director.


 

2. Medical Outreach (Trusted Resource Strategic Initiative)

The Intern will work with the Director of Operations in establishing the goals of our new Medical Outreach program and assist in creating a database to track the program. Medical Outreach includes providing education about Down syndrome to medical professionals (OBGYNs, Pediatricians, Hospitals etc.) who directly serve people with Down syndrome and their families so they can best serve people with Ds and help connect them to DSCNWA.

*The Intern will be responsible for planning and coordinating a ‘lunch and learn’ training with one local NWA hospital’s Labor and Delivery department or one NWA OBGYN clinic to educate providers about delivering a diagnosis to new parents under the direction of the Director of Operations.


3. Fundraising (Sustainable Organization Strategic Initiative)

The Intern will serve on the Step Up for Down Syndrome Fundraiser committee working with both the Program Director and the Director of Operations to plan and execute the event. The intern will specifically work with the entertainment, décor and activities leads along with assisting the teams and registration leads.

The Step Up for Down Syndrome Fundraiser is on October 26th from 1-4 pm at The Jones Center in Springdale. The Intern will assist in the planning and preparations in the weeks leading up to the event under the guidance of the Program Director and Director of Operations. 

*The Intern will serve as the Volunteer Captain for Entertainment and Activities on the day of the event.


4. Family Fun Events (Programming Strategic Initiative)

DSCNWA holds three to four Family Fun Events every year that invite all of our families to gather and enjoy fun activities and offers the ability to engage and socialize with other DSC families. The Intern will assist with planning and executing the DSCNWA Family Fun Christmas Brunch on December 7th. 

*The Intern will be responsible for planning the craft project at the event.

5. Board Meetings (Sustainable Organization Strategic Initiative)

The Intern will attend and participate in Board Meetings to get a good understanding of how nonprofits are governed. The Board of Directors meets on the 2nd Monday of every month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

The DS Intern will conduct an exit interview with the Director of Operations and Program Director and will be asked to put together a recap of key learnings and feedback to help us to continue building our intern program.

 

Summary

This internship opportunity is ideal for students hoping to work with people with special needs and their families in a nonprofit organization. 

The DS Intern needs to be able to travel to the DSNCWA office (Suite 1424) in Rogers located in the Center for Nonprofits and to program locations if offered outside of the DSCNWA office. The DS Intern will be provided with a laptop to use during the internship and a dscnwa.com email address.

 

Hours and days worked will vary weekly depending on the calendar of programs and events. Intern will work with the Program Director and Director of Operations to set their weekly schedule.

 

This is an unpaid internship. 

 

To Apply

Interested candidates should email a resume and cover letter detailing your interest in the position to those listed below. Please include at least one reference.

Deadline to apply May 1st

Interviews will be held in May and a candidate selected by June 7th

Email resume and cover letter to:

Program Director, Ms. Lindsay Dover at lindsay.dover@dscnwa.com

Director of Operations, Nicole Terry at nicole.terry@dscnwa.com

DSCNWA VP Board of Directors, Sharon Bense at sharon@clovercommunityschool.org

Deadline to Apply May 1st

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