Summer Links 2018: Internship Host Site Information

Application Deadline Extension: Monday, 3/5/18

Click HERE to access the Summer Links 2018 Internship Host Site Application. 

Click HERE to watch video to hear from program alumni and supervisors.  

Internship Placement Period: M-Th, 9am-5pm (July 2, 2018 to August 30, 2018)

Participation Overview

Launched in 1997 by inaugural UCSC Director Michelle Obama, Summer Links is a 10-week (6/25/18-8/31/18) social justice education internship program for a cohort of 20 undergraduate students committed to public service, community-building, and social change. Students receive a $4,000 stipend. 

Summer Links internship host sites are valued partners and offer University of Chicago students a unique opportunity to learn how multiple sectors work to effect social change in Chicago -- nonprofits, businesses with corporate social responsibility units, community banks, foundations, and government agencies.

Click HERE for 2017 internship projects and internship host sites.

Supervisor Reflections

"It is such a wonderful experience to mentor someone so interested in social justice and with eyes wide open to how much work there is to be done in this world. "

"I think this is an extremely valuable experience for both us as organizations and for the Summer Links interns."

Program Overview and Model

SL Program cover.pngThe program begins with an Immersion Week (students are not at their internship host site during this week) where students learn about and discuss a range of topics including community and identity, Chicago history, race and segregation, leadership, and Chicago neighborhoods. They meet with UChicago and community leaders, local residents, and each other to unpack the data, stories, histories, and considerations that inform and influence the social issues of the city. For the remaining 9 weeks, participants work at their individual internship host organizations Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

The cohort meets at UCSC every Wednesday evening, 6-8 p.m., during the 10-week program to share internship reflections and participate in group discussions about social issues. They also meet off-campus each Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for "Focus Friday" sessions designed to broaden understanding of Chicago and social justice issues, such as immigration, urban planning,  housing, education, LGBTQ issues, economic development, and the social determinants of health. They include site visits, community explorations, panel discussions, artistic and cultural events, and group discussions. We strongly encourage internship host sites to consider allowing us to meet with, and at, their organizations to expose the students to their efforts to improve society.

Program Goals

  • To deepen students’ knowledge of the social justice issues that impact Chicago communities and their intersections 
  • To broaden students’ experience of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods
  • To provide students with exposure to a wider variety of approaches to social justice work to inform their academic and career trajectories

Participation Criteria 

  • Have a mission that advances or engages issues of social change;
  • Provide matched student with a substantive skills-based, project/s over the 9-week internship placement period (M-Thu, 7/2/18 to 8/30/18);
  • Have a dedicated supervisor invested in providing thoughtful mentorship to support students' personal and professional growth;
  • Have a static office or building for students to work each day;
  • Make a contribution to UCSC ($500, $1K, $2K, or $4K) depending on organization annual budget by Friday, 7/27/18; interns receive a $4K stipend from UCSC for their 10-week program participation 

Note:  If your organization has a policy that prohibits them from making an internship stipend contribution, please contact Chris Huff at to see if a waiver can be considered.

Timeline and Internship Matching Process

Organization Application Deadline Extension:  Monday, March 5

Invitation to Organizations to Be Considered Host Sites: Friday, March 9

Summer Links Cohort Selected:  Friday, March 9

Roster of Prospective Host Sites Released to Cohort: Monday, March 12

Student Ranking of Top 10 Host Sites to Interview at: Friday, March 23

Student Interviews at 5 Prospective Host Sites: Week of April 2 and 9

Students & Prospective Hoste Sites Provide Rankings: Friday, April 20

Notification of Internship Matches:  Week of May 7

Internship Placement Period: M-Th, 9am-5pm (July 2, 2018 to August 30, 2018)

Supervisor Orientation Breakfast: Friday, June 15, 8-9:30AM, at UCSC

Supervisor Networking Dinner: Thursday, July 26, 5:30-7pm

Program Closing Celebration and Teach-Back: Friday, August 31, 12-1:30pm

Application: Click HERE to access the Summer Links 2018 Internship Host Site Application  Deadline: 11:59PM, Friday, February 23, 2018

Questions? Contact UCSC Assistant Director Chris Huff at