A generous gift to UCF will enable the College of Health and Public Affairs to expand its internship program at Evans Community School, a new extended-services school at Evans High School in Orlando.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation has contributed $25,000 to fund a staff position responsible for growing the internship program. A student in the college’s Doctoral Program in Public Affairs will assume the part-time position early next year, according to Nancy Ellis, director of the college’s Center for Community Partnerships.

“The coordinator will help place UCF students from across the campus in internships and service-learning projects at the community school that target the needs of Evans’ students and their families,” Ellis said.

The foundation made the gift as part of its commitment to improve the quality of life in local communities. Funding the new position will increase the impact of Evans Community School, which serves some 2,200 high school students in the Pine Hills community. Approximately 88 percent of the students’ households live at the federal poverty level.

This fall, the college placed two social work graduate students as interns at the community school, where they worked to connect Evans’ students with after-school tutoring, health care services and resources such as a food pantry. The UCF students gained real-world experience in their discipline while supporting the community school’s mission to empower students and their families.

Initially, the coordinator will spend 10 hours a week at Evans Community School, assessing the immediate and future needs of the school, and 10 hours a week at UCF, developing recruitment, orientation and training processes for university students.

“We are truly grateful for the foundation’s gift,” Ellis shared. “It will enable us to use the enormous skills, talents and abilities of students and faculty at UCF to better the lives of Evans’ students and their families.”

For further information about the internship program at Evans Community School, contact Heather Lambert at heather.lambert@ucf.edu or 407-823-2065  or Nancy Ellis at nancy.ellis@ucf.edu or 407-823-0713.