Scholarship for Unpaid Internships

The Scholarship for Unpaid Internships aims to reduce financial barriers and support students in pursuit of high-quality internships that will help them develop new skills, apply classroom learning in a real-world setting, and garner experience in the non-profit or government sector. Students selected for this scholarship will work with staff at the UW Career & Internship Center during winter and spring quarter to secure an unpaid, or underpaid, summer internship in the non-profit or government sector.

Funding for this program has been made available through the Gerald J. Baldasty and Randal A. Beam Career Internship Endowed Fund for Students, the UW Career & Internship Center, and generous donations from UW alumni, donors, and staff.

Application is closed – Summer 2024 application will open in fall 2023

  • Program Benefits

    • In the words of our scholarship recipients, here are some of the benefits of their internship experiences and the scholarship program.
    • “Working over the summer at Leading Women of Tomorrow enhanced my skills not only as a writer, but also as a researcher and public speaker.”
    • “I wanted to learn all aspects of how non-profits work and network with people associated with a successful one. As part of [my internship] I learned about policy making, fundraising, and marketing – many of the things I need to know to start my own non-profit.”
    • “I’ve always wanted to have an internship, but I think this [the scholarship program] made it manifest.”
    • “I wanted to find an internship to establish if social work is the right path for me… In just the first two weeks, my internship made me excited for my future.”
    • “Working with Synetic was very affirming that this field is right for me.”
    • “This internship caused me to wonder if I want to pursue a career in journalism… This internship has definitely changed my trajectory in terms of careers.”
    • “Looking for internships is hard for me, and you [the program staff] were great! You took your time in providing me virtual internship options which was a great help.”
    • “I certainly could not have afforded to devote the whole summer to this kind of project without the support of the scholarship.”
  • Program Eligibility

    • Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for the scholarship:
      • Enrolled undergraduate student at UW-Seattle in good academic standing
      • Interested in completing an unpaid or low-paid internship experience in either a non-profit or governmental (local, state, or federal) organization in the summer of 2024. Low paid is defined as receiving less than $500 during the academic quarter from the supervising employer or organization.
      • Work with the Career & Internship Center to find an eligible internship and then obtain confirmation of your internship participation by the site supervisor.
      • Applications are accepted from students of all citizenship statuses (international and undocumented students are eligible to apply)
      • Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need.
      • Plan to enroll at the UW in autumn quarter 2024 following their internship
  • Program Requirements

    • Recipients of the scholarship are required to:
      • Meet with UW Career & Internship Center staff at least once prior to starting their internship to support their ability to find and maximize a summer opportunity.
      • Complete their internship experience as defined by a learning agreement created with their internship site supervisor. Minimum 10 hours per week.
      • Complete a program evaluation survey at the conclusion of their internship experience.
      • Conduct an exit interview with UW Career & Internship Center staff to provide feedback on their experience to help improve the program in subsequent years.
  • Financial Details

    • Selected scholars who successfully secure an eligible unpaid internship will receive $3,000 disbursed directly to their student account – half at the beginning of the experience and half after successful completion of all scholarship requirements. This funding counts towards the student’s financial aid eligibility and could disrupt your current financial aid package. If you have concerns regarding financial aid implications, please talk with the scholarship program staff and UW Financial Aid.
  • Application Information

    • Application is closed – Summer 2024 application will open in fall 2023

      Complete the application Google Form which includes:

        • Essay questions about how an internship will contribute to your personal, academic, and/or career development
        • Essay question about how this scholarship funding would benefit you
        • Current resume

      All applicants will be notified in January 2024 of their application status.

  • Questions

    • Contact Dan Herb, Internship Success Manager, at

Past Scholarship Recipients

  • Summer 2020

    • Name: Shea Formanes
      Major: English
      Internship Site: Leading Women of Tomorrow
      Description: During my summer internship at Leading Women of Tomorrow, I worked as a Digital Media and Contributing Writer for the organization’s blog, where I pitched, researched, wrote, edited, and published articles and blog posts. In addition, I was responsible for selecting keynote and diversity & inclusion (D&I) speakers for the first-ever LWT Chapter Summit. I actively researched, scheduled meetings, and negotiated availability, logistics for the event, and compensation with multiple politicians, lawmakers, and senators.
    • Name: Margarita Quintana-Salas
      Major: Chemical Engineering
      Internship Site: North Seattle College
      Description: I interned at North Seattle College, working under Professor Kalyn Owens as a Teacher’s Assistant for her two Chemistry courses. I set regular office hours for students to drop by and I would answer their questions and go through homework and/or practice problems together. I also provided my email in case the office hours didn’t work with the student’s schedule. To better understand where confusion might arise from students and to be better prepared for future questions, I viewed their lectures, worked on their quizzes and homework.
    • Name: Emily Smith
      Major: Drama
      Internship Site: Synetic Theatre
      Description: While interning at Synetic I designed and implemented a new archival system, created a standardized strike plan that can be applied to every production and streamlined transitions between plays, and helped implement a CRM system that will be used to track employee progress and make sure the company is meeting its EDI goals. Overall, I learned how to be a good production manager in a crisis like COVID, as well as some of the fundamentals about how a theatre is run that are missing from my undergrad education with the school of drama.
    • Name: Briyanna Stewart
      Major: Sociology
      Internship Site: Northwest Film Forum
      Description:  During my internship with the Northwest Film Forum, I worked independently creating artist profiles for POC filmmakers. I helped and shadowed editors, and I reviewed film submissions for the local sightings film festival.
  • Summer 2021

    • Photo of Lupe GalvanName:
      Guadalupe Galvan
      Major: American Ethnic Studies
      Internship Site: King Count Juvenile Court
      Description: During my internship, I worked with a Probation Counselor at King County Juvenile Court where I was able to monitor a caseload of twelve adolescents. Although we couldn’t meet them in person because of COVID, we would call them each week to check in with them and make sure we were providing the best support and resources. I would update case notes, reports, sit in court hearings and had the opportunity to close a few cases. I was also able to work with other Probation Counselors and learn about their area of work. Overall, through this internship I was able to learn more about Juvenile Court and have a better understanding about how our legal system works in King County.

    • Photo of Fani Medel MartinezName:
      Fani Medel Martinez
      Major: Social Welfare, Communication
      Internship Site: The Borgen Project
      Description: As a Nonprofit Leadership Intern, I raised funds, advertised, and mobilized community members to fight against global poverty. I was responsible for raising $500 and contacting my Congressional Leaders through emails, letters, and phone calls. In addition, I designed a marketing campaign to teach individuals how to contact Congress. At the end of my internship experience, I also got the opportunity to attend a Congressional Meeting with a staff member from Washington District 4th.

    • Photo of Liz MughoName:
      Elizabeth Mugho
      Major: Political Science
      Internship Site: The Borgen Project
      Description: As a political affairs intern, I was tasked with helping promote and educate the community and representatives about The Borgen Project and its aim to end global poverty. I fundraised money, reached out to state representatives, mobilized people in my community, and tried to make global poverty a focus of U.S foreign policy.
  • Summer 2022

    • Name:
      Salmaí Arellano Cardenas
      Major: Sociology
      Internship Site: International Rescue Committee
      Description: During my internship at the IRC’s New Roots Community Garden Program, I was working at three sites throughout South Seattle. My tasks ranged from physical/labor work around the three sites with management to working remotely for administration, data tracking, and community outreach. During my time at the IRC, I was able to help improve communication between the New Roots Team and the gardeners. I also had the opportunity to work with different programs meant to support families with food access.                                                                                                               .

      JP Lopez
      Major: Public Health
      Internship Site: Harborview Medical Center
      Description: As a research assistant through the CHROME program at Harborview Medical Center, I contributed to and worked towards advancing the Discharge Count Study. Aiming to find the prevalence at which patients get “stuck” in hospitals and do not receive proper and speedy medical services, I created data collection tools that ultimately helped launch the project into fruition. Through the internship, I learned technical skills required for participating in quantitative research, created surveys on the database software RedCap, learned how to conduct data analysis, and wrote a research abstract.

    • Name:
      Claire McCreery
      Major: Political Science
      Internship Site: Josh Green for Governor Campaign
      Description: Interning for this Hawaii Campaign, I gained experience and insight on grassroots campaign efforts. I kept track of the locations of campaign signs across the islands on a spreadsheet database, learned more about the candidate’s platform, completed online trainings on the best campaign practices, and helped to send messages to volunteers about sign waving events. With the hard work of our campaign team, our candidate was able to win the Democratic Primary Election. This internship was an extremely valuable experience, and I will take the skills I learned with me as I continue on my academic and professional journey.

    • Name:
      Ivon Sanchez-Pineda
      Major: Political Science and Law, Societies & Justice
      Internship Site: Alliance for Children’s Rights
      Description: I interned in the intake department at the Alliance for Children’s Rights which is a legal services non-profit that holistically helps foster youth or youth on probation and their guardians with issues pertaining to guardianship, education, healthcare, benefits, transitioning out of foster care, etc. I would complete intake screenings with clients. Then, after gathering all their information, I would call the attorney of the day and briefly explain the situation and relevant information. Many times, I would be directed to complete questionnaires with the clients to gather more information to be sent to the appropriate department within the Alliance. Once I completed the questionnaires, I would write up a case summary and put a packet together with all of this for the attorney to take on the case and work with the respective departments. I also was able to use my Spanish knowledge to speak to and translate for Spanish speaking clients. Overall, I got the opportunity to work collaboratively with attorneys to problem solve in order to holistically help clients.