Internship Plus allows student to return to Uruguay
RELEASED: May 1, 2008
DANVILLE, KY—As part of the Centre Commitment, students who meet academic and social expectations are guaranteed opportunities for an internship. In addition, the College offers extra financial support to students who participate in high-quality experiential learning during the summer or the distinctive CentreTerm. It's called Internship Plus, and it awards up to $750 toward a CentreTerm internship and $1,500 toward a summer internship.
For Brad Erickson '09, a history and religion double major from Owensboro, Ky., Internship Plus has made his internship this summer in Uruguay with the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board possible.
"My job description will be to assist full-time missionaries in church planting efforts in the towns of Montevideo, Maldonado and Colonia," he says
While Erickson's journey will find him in several cities, one in particular stands out as a special destination.
"I visited Maldonado last year when I was an employee for a local church stateside. When I had to leave the children with whom I'd been working during my stay there, it was the most painful and tearful goodbye I'd ever made," Erickson says. "I told myself that if at all possible I would come back someday. Little did I know that I would be returning only a year later!"
Erickson's return to Uruguay was made possible by a combination of luck, determination and skill. Before he left, one of the full-time missionaries stationed in Uruguay suggested that he return as a permanent volunteer in the summer of '08, but that he would need to learn as much Spanish as possible in the meantime. Upon returning to the States, Erickson enrolled in Spanish classes and began preparation while weighing his options for the summer. But there was another issue weighing heavily on his mind.
"I was worried about the money situation because it costs a lot to actually get to the country, not to mention almost two months of living expenses. But, I believed that the money would work out if I was meant to go," Erickson says.
And it did. While Erickson was studying abroad in the Centre-in-London program, he was able generate correspondence between the College's career-planning office, Career Services, and the mission in Uruguay so that all the appropriate paper work was filed. It was a challenging undertaking across three continents, but the efforts paid off, allowing Erickson the financial freedom to continue his work in Uruguay this summer where he will travel from city to city to lead Christian worship services and build a church/community center.
After graduation, Erickson plans to seek his Masters of Divinity degree but is still undecided about his specific career aspirations.
"I'm trying to decide if I want to go into full-time mission work, or if I want to continue studying religion academically and one day go into archaeology," he says. "I'm hoping that this summer will help me decide."
Among the other experiential learning opportunities accepted into the Internship Plus program this year include positions at Hawaii Farm and Meditation Center in Pahoa, Hawaii; Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Md.; Neil Patel Design Studio in New York, N.Y.; and U.S. Commercial Service in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Check out Centre's homepage in the following weeks for more Internship Plus student profiles!
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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