(Mountain Home) – A new internship was recently created through the Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) Career Placement program and elected officials Congressman Rick Crawford and Senator Johnny Key and is now available to students interested in learning more about public service. Interns work directly with field representatives and office managers at the local offices of Crawford and Key.
Two ASUMH students, Stetson Painter and Joseph Drake, were the first students to be selected and participate in the internship program. ASUMH Career Placement coordinated the collaboration. ASUMH Associate Vice Chancellor for Special Projects Karen Hopper presented the internship idea to Senator Key and Congressman Crawford.
“The opportunity for interns is invaluable. It’s an opportunity for young people to get involved in the process and spark an interest in public service,” said Hopper. “It’s a real cool thing for a student at our two-year institution. This exposes them to things beyond the classroom. It is all about Creating Opportunities and Changing Lives,” the shared vision at ASUMH.
ASUMH Career Placement Coordinator Tamara Mitchell approached Painter with the exciting internship opportunity. Painter worked directly with Mountain Home’s field representative Joseph Didden, who covers five counties in the state of Arkansas. Veterans frequently visit Congressman Crawford’s office and present questions regarding qualifications of veterans’ benefits. Painter ensures the veterans receive and understand their benefits. Painter recently attended the FEMA Homeland Security Disaster Relief Training Seminar in Newport, Arkansas, where he met Congressman Crawford, as well as other elected officials. Painter will graduate from the Arkansas State University-Jonesboro (ASU-J) program at the ASUMH campus in May of 2013. He will obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, as well as Sociology. Painter will then attend ASU-J where he will major in criminal justice. Congressman Crawford has offered Painter the chance to work in his Washington, D.C. office. Painter plans to accept the offer once he has received a master’s degree in criminal justice. Painter would ultimately like to be involved in law enforcement.
“This internship has really taught me what goes on behind the scenes. It’s right up my alley. I love interacting and mingling with people. It’s very rewarding.” Painter
worked nearly 20 hours per week at the Mountain Home office. Painter stayed current with news happening around the surrounding counties by reading local newspapers and listening to local residents concerns. He also assisted veterans by supplying them with appropriate forms and informing the veterans of the benefits they have earned.
“This one door has opened several other doors for me. I appreciate the university for giving me this opportunity, and I hope that one day I can repay ASUMH. No one will take full advantage of this opportunity more than me,” said Painter. “It feels good to help get things done, and getting to meet the people behind the scenes.”
Stetson Painter is from Mountain Home, Arkansas. He is currently president of the ASUMH Student Government Association and plays softball on the ASUMH co-ed team.
Joseph Drake, Senator Johnny Key’s intern, worked on multiple projects at the Mountain Home office, including the upcoming Veterans Benefit Fair to be held on June 20 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center. ASUMH Administrative Specialist II for Veteran Affairs and Financial Aid, Sherrie Abel, and ASUMH Director of Financial Aid, Clay Berry, have assisted Drake in organizing the fair. Drake is Senator Key’s first intern. Drake has logged 50-60 hours at the Mountain Home office.
“It was refreshing to see how much Senator Key cared about his constituents. He has a lot of great ideas. It’s nice to see that somebody in our government system cares so much,” said Drake.
Joseph Drake plans to earn his Associate of Arts degree, as well as Associate of Science in Business degree at ASUMH in the fall of 2012. He will later transfer to ASU-J to major in business management. Drake is from Mountain Home, Arkansas. He and his wife, Julieta, have two sons – Clark (19 months old) and Daniel (one month old).
ASUMH students who are interested in applying must complete an information sheet and submit their resume to the ASUMH Career Placement Office at 1600 S. College St., Mountain Home, AR 72653. Finalists will be interviewed and selected from a pool of qualified applicants. Interns are evaluated at the end of the period. The evaluation focuses on work contributed, as well as a synopsis of what the interns have accomplished throughout the two months.