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Journalism Professor Seeks to Connect Students to Nonprofit Organizations

Tom Callinan and his family established the Charitable Words Scholars program for students interested in internships that serve local and global communities.

Date: 4/2/2013
By: Chris Eden
Phone: (513) 556-1902
Other Contact: Allison Stigler
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-8577
The Charitable Words Scholars program has been established by the Callinan Family Fund to connect students interested in humanitarian work with nonprofits in Greater Cincinnati and around the globe.

“My experience teaching at the University of Cincinnati – and having three children in college – opened my eyes that today’s students benefit greatly from internships, and the community benefits by having them,” said Tom Callinan, a retired journalist and McMicken professor of journalism at UC.

“The Millennial Generation has the highest volunteer and public service level since the 1930s. But they face financial strains, student debt and 50 percent employment prospects when they graduate," Callinan said. “Meanwhile, the nonprofit sector represents 10 percent of the work force and growing, and nonprofits are often understaffed and in need of help."

Studies by Intern in Ohio also show that 65 percent of interns transition into a job, and 83 percent stay in the same region as their employer when they graduate.

“So internships are a win-win-win for the student, the nonprofits and the communities they serve,” Callinan said.

Scholarships are available to undergraduate students in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. Charitable Words Scholars are assigned to nonprofits in need of an intern. The assignments may be paid internship jobs or for-credit semester internships with honorariums, depending on the situation. The students work in a variety of areas from literacy to special needs education to humanitarian and documentary work in underprivileged areas of the world.

“The program is intended to benefit students who may not be on the radar for traditional scholarships," said Callinan.

“Charitable Words looks at the bottom of resumes as much as the top. In that “Interests” segment, have you volunteered to help others? Have you done service projects? Your character, core values and DNA count as much as a GPA.”

The students awarded scholarships are asked to file reports about their work to be shared on the blog, which is affiliated with the blog network.  Charitable Words' mission is: “Share stories about the good being done by nonprofits and common causes, including reports from the field by Charitable Words Scholars.”

UC students have previously been assigned as Charitable Words Scholars with:
  • Social Venture Partners, East End Adult Education Center and Melodic Connections in Greater Cincinnati.
  • Serve Beyond Cincinnati and Village Life Outreach projects in Nicaragua and Tanzania.
Tom and Maureen Callinan and The Callinan Family Fund are sponsors of the Charitable Words Scholars program.  Tom, former editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer and adjunct professor in the Department of Journalism at McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, is the founder and editor of Maureen is an elder law attorney and volunteer in the areas of gerontology, literacy and children and families at risk.

For information on Charitable Words Scholars or to get involved by supporting a student, please contact Chris Eden in the A&S Office of Development at 513-556-0912.

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