Early this year, Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness announced that we received funding from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to expand our work as WNC’s Recovery Community Organization through the Recovery Workshop Outreach to Under-Resourced Communities project.
The funding received was granted to support Sunrise in working with local recovery communities in Madison, McDowell, Polk, and Buncombe counties to provide free workshops, share recovery resources, and learn more about ways that communities are working to respond to their community’s needs for recovery support.
Last month, as Sunrise was getting ready to open service learning internship applications, planning travel days to support community organizing across several different counties this Spring and wondering whether workshops should be held in the mid-summer or during September, which is National Recovery Month, the COVID-19 pandemic began to change everything about how we work to support recovery in WNC and dramatically increased the need for recovery support in rural and under-resourced areas in this region and beyond.
We are excited to begin recruiting service learning interns (and volunteers!) for this project, and recognize that interest in these internship opportunities will likely exceed the number of internships currently available.
We are seeking funding to expand this project to be able to offer additional internship opportunities to existing and emerging recovery community advocates in rural and under-resourced communities in WNC.
Over the next two months, we will be doing most of the community organizing and networking to support this project using digital platforms.
We hope to be able to hold in-person workshops as part of September’s National Recovery Month celebrations.
As part of this project, we will be:
- Developing a community resources and support survey to learn more about what resources are available, what resources may be needed, and how folks in rural and under-resourced areas have been working to support one another
- Creating outreach contact lists and community engagement strategies that help us to connect with existing community resource organizations
- Putting together some resources to help everyday folks to support themselves, their families, and their communities in areas where access to services is limited.
- Creating new online groups designed to support people in organizing community support networks and using peer support practice to help friends and family members who may be struggling
If you are a person who is working to support recovery in your community, and would like to be a volunteer service learning intern for this project, please know that you are welcome to apply for this opportunity.
Service learning interns will receive training in community organizing strategy, network building, and community peer support practices, as well as have the opportunity to be a part of a group of people working to support recovery in WNC.
We will be focusing this project on working with service learning interns, volunteers, and community members to:
- Learn more about what individuals, families, and communities in rural and under-resourced areas need to support themselves in recovery from mental health and substance use challenges when formal services and supports are not available
- Learn about resources that may be available in different places
- Share information about resources that are available
- Develop free, accessible resources that may help people to meet their needs for support and to support one another in recovery
Service learning interns will help us to develop outreach materials to engage the local community and will provide support in getting word out about recovery support resources that are currently available and that will be created as part of this project.
Service learning interns will receive a living wage stipend of $15.50/hour for 32 hours of service over 8 weeks, approximately 4 hours of service per week.
Service learning hours will be spent meeting with the project coordinator, training and learning about community organizing, conducting community resource research and doing community engagement and outreach work.
Interns will be provided payment monthly in two 250.00 stipends.
Service Learning Intern qualifications:
- Must be a person with lived experience of mental health, substance use, and/or homelessness, and/or justice involvement and be in recovery from these challenges. Family members of individuals who are directly affected by these challenges are also encouraged to apply, especially young adults from struggling families.
- Must have experience working with others to create events, initiatives, or campaigns, or have some experience in advocacy efforts or service projects
- Communication skills (written, verbal, or both)
- Must have basic computer skills and the ability to attend meetings using Zoom or another digital meeting platform
- Must be passionate about working with their community to create resources and build relationships that encourage collaboration and participation
- Individuals with connections to vulnerable or marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.
It is not required that an individual be a Certified Peer Support Specialist to apply for this opportunity, though being a CPSS or interest in becoming a CPSS is preferred.
How to apply for a Service Learning Internship:
You can visit this link -> “Service Learning Internship Application – Madison, McDowell, Buncombe, and Polk County ” -> https://form.jotform.com/200013233983041
…or you can fill the application out right here!
Because interest in these service learning internship may exceed the number of internships we have available at this time, it is important for Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness to be transparent about the process by which individuals are selected for these internships.
These internships are specifically designed to support individuals who have demonstrated experience in voluntary work to support their recovery community through community organizing, community networking, and/or collaborative project and event planning in gaining additional training and professional development experience.
Preference for these internship opportunities will be given to individuals who have demonstrated community organizing experience, or experience supporting recovery in their community, as well as individuals who have experience as participants or supporters of Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness programs and community recovery initiatives. Additionally, individuals who are members of under-resourced, under-served, or marginalized communities who are equally qualified in their areas of community organizing experience will be given intentional equitable opportunity.
After completing the internship application, individuals with adequate experience and skills compatible to the internship opportunity will be contacted for an interview. Interviews will include the opportunity to share information about experience, share information about personal passions and priority-areas of professional development and community service, and ask questions about the internship and the plans for this project.
Individuals who are selected to receive an internship opportunity will be notified, as will individuals who do not receive a paid internship opportunity at this time.
Individuals not selected for a paid internship at this time are welcome to volunteer with this project and volunteers may be given preference for future internship opportunities as they become available. All volunteers and interns will be equally valued and respected and will be asked to join a Google group which will be used for project organizing and will be invited to be a part of project trainings and will learn about additional professional development opportunities related to peer support, recovery advocacy, and community organizing.
If you have questions, please contact Faith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you submit your application, give Faith a couple of days to get in touch with you to schedule an interview (using Zoom).
Chances are good that there will be a lot of folks interested in these service learning internships and that we won’t be able to offer the paid opportunity to everybody who deserves it.
We are going to be seeking additional funding for this program, and appreciate all the hard work people are doing in their communities!