Interpretation Intern

Website Independence National Historical Park

Start Date: May 15th, 2023

End Date: August 4th, 2023

Compensation: $640 a week paid every two weeks. Travel costs to the site and back home are covered by the program. 

Application Due: February 6th, 2023

The Latino Heritage Internship Program seeks to engage ethnically and racially diverse young professionals in natural resource careers

All interns must be fully vaccinated for covid-19 prior to the start of their internship.

Please Apply HERE

Position Description:

The LHIP intern will collaborate with the park’s Interpretation & Education staff to develop and implement at least two new programs designed to engage youth and families in on-site exploration at Independence National Historical Park. The park will be developing and piloting these engagement activities in conjunction with the rollout of our new Junior Ranger program. Our approach to the activities is one of intentional design reflecting best practices in interpretation and education. The goal is to provide family and youth visitors with a holistic and seamless experience, harnessing the power of place to explore an essential question: Whose life, whose liberty, and whose pursuit of happiness? Through this work, the LHIP intern will explore and have the opportunity to contribute their voice to conversations about freedom and enslavement, identity, and the nation’s origin story.

The park is currently shifting away from a traditional Junior Ranger booklet to an engagement map centered on the “big idea” of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The discrete units of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can be questions (whose liberty?), but they also overlap to create nuance. For example, enslaved people sought liberty AND still had moments of happiness/joy, making humanity central to their stories. This map will require visitors to seek out certain places in the park and ponder questions. Engagement activities directed to this audience at these locations will deepen the connections for visitors of all ages.

The park has embraced some audience-centered engagement in recent years, but it has been sporadic and not part of a strategy that includes deliberate choices and thoughtful evaluation. The revamped Junior Ranger program encourages families to seek connections to sites and stories in new ways; it will require creativity to reimagine and integrate supporting engagement activities. Possible activities could range from a kinesthetic seal-making activity to a physical re-mixing of the symbols on the First Bank of the United States. The park intends to adopt an “inspired by” approach that references park sites but allows the visitors to make their own meaning.

The park anticipates that many of the lessons learned in engagement from this pilot program will be applied to the education program during the school year. Whether with families or school groups, youth will benefit from the park’s experience with new tools and techniques.

The potential impact of the work is tremendous: tens of thousands of visitors visit the park each summer. Modeling new activities for the park’s staff of 60 interpreters will amplify the reach of the pilot program, as staff see and begin experimenting with different engagement approaches after this internship concludes.

 Intern Qualifications:

Interns selected for the NPSCF Program should possess:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience
  • Strategic thinking ability
  • The ability to self-start/work independently
  • Flexibility/resourcefulness
  • The ability to adapt new skills and ideas to the public sector

Ideally, the candidate will be pursuing a major in Education or History with a keen desire to share information with others. Candidates with coursework and experience in communications, public history, museum studies, American Studies, and other related disciplines are also encouraged to apply. Candidates must be comfortable presenting and speaking in front of the public and working with kids. They should be comfortable “piloting” activities and be open and flexible to changing activities and the project direction based on public interactions.

Physical/Natural Environment: Philadelphia is a city of diverse neighborhoods, with great opportunity for an intern to engage with local communities. The intern will work and live (if park housing is available) in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia. Housing is located just a few blocks from park offices and historic structures. Public transportation is available locally and regionally. With over 60 employees just in the interpretation and education division, there will be numerous opportunities to socialize. There will be numerous opportunities to join park staff at outings ranging from sporting events to visits to area cultural institutions. The City of Philadelphia is also home to several major universities and social opportunities are abundant. 

According to Visit Philadelphia, The 2010 U.S. Census reported 12.3% of Philadelphians identified as Latinx. In July 2021, the census estimate for Philadelphia’s Latinx population rose to over 15%. Philadelphia’s NPR station carried out a project about Philadelphia’s Latino communities in 2020. The story can be found here:

More information about Philadelphia:

Work Environment: Much of the work will be completed indoors in air-conditioned spaces during program development. The intern may also work outside when piloting engagement activities with families. Breaks, shade, and safety protocols will be in place for summer heat and inclement weather. The intern will need to travel between park buildings in summer heat. The park is in an urban setting.

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