The “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County recently recognized the university’s efforts to host precollegiate interns on campus for the past 20 years.
On Feb. 15, CU Boulder received the foundation’s first-ever Building the Dream Internship Host of the Year Award.
More than 20 university departments have hosted hundreds of Boulder County students over the past 20 years in partnership with the local chapter of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation.
Christopher Pacheco, executive director of the CU Boulder Office of Pre-College Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE), accepted the award on the university’s behalf.
The foundation lauded both Pacheco and the university for “leadership, partnership and commitment, and most importantly for the investment in the youth of our community,” by providing internship opportunities to students the foundation calls its “Dreamers.”
“We are proud to receive this recognition, but we are even more proud of the faculty and staff who have stepped up to embrace our efforts to host young people whose futures were and are forever shaped by positive experiences on our campus,” Pacheco said. “Some of our interns have gone on to study here at CU Boulder, worked in the offices that hosted them as interns, and later became community leaders themselves.”
Pacheco said CU Boulder established a six-week summer internship program in the 1990s to promote lifelong learning, access to higher education and self-sufficiency among underrepresented Boulder County students between the ages of 15 and 21.
The internship program is part of the campus’s “making excellence inclusive” efforts, said Alaina Beaver, ODECE’s initiatives director of social climate strategy.
CU Boulder sophomore and former summer intern Lluvia Macias said that taking part in the internship program was a “priceless” experience for her.
“It was a stepping stone to higher education, where I have connected with people across the CU Boulder campus and found new opportunities,” she said.
Last year, the College of Media, Communications and Information (CMCI), the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Parent Giving and Advancement Office, the Office of Pre-College Outreach & Engagement and ODECE hosted interns.