December 1, 2020

Smithsonian creates Goucher Prison Education Partnership alumnae/i internship

The internship offers former GPEP students the opportunity to leverage their educations, building valuable early career experience.

GPEPThrough ongoing collaboration between the Smithsonian and the Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP), the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH ) has created a fund to support internships for alumnae/i and former students of GPEP. The internship offers former GPEP students, Goucher College students formerly incarcerated in state prison, the opportunity to leverage their educations, building valuable early career experience.

"We are so thrilled to include GPEP alumni in our intern cohort at the National Museum of American History! Our internship program supports equitable access to the Smithsonian and to the museum field by providing workplace-based learning experiences that foster the professional development of future museum leaders, and we are delighted to provide this opportunity for GPEP alumni,” says Caroline Fiertz, interns and fellows program manager, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. 

While applicants with prior justice system involvement are valued candidates for any position at the Smithsonian, this internship creates a path for those too often deterred or excluded from similar opportunities. GPEP students, like the US prison population more broadly, often come from communities historically and systematically excluded from educational, economic, and professional opportunity. 

This year, five GPEP alumnae/i were selected from a highly competitive pool to participate in six-month long internships at the museum. GPEP alumnae/i interns receive a specific project, supportive mentorship from trained staff, access to several museum enrichment opportunities, livable stipends, as well as the ability to receive credit from their home institutions.

“We are grateful for this ongoing opportunity to collaborate with the Smithsonian, to have students’ talents recognized in this way, and for students to contribute so meaningfully to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, a world class institution,” says Amy Roza, executive director, Goucher Prison Education Partnership.  

By providing a path to professional opportunity focused on GPEP alumnae/i, the museum strives to develop the interns’ talents, promote their long-term professional success, and in turn, the intern contributions enrich the museum and its staff.

“For me, interning at NMAH has been one of the best experiences of my life,” says student Donalto Marshall. “I am continually learning something new about museum work and other professional skills that I can use towards my career goals. It has been an honor and a privilege to intern at NMAH.”