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Student Internships & Service Learning

Due to constraints in our office space, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is not currently able to have clinical interns provide counseling services in our office.  Please contact Sherry Lewis, our Director of Therapy, with any questions. Some of our other volunteer opportunities, such as Advocate and Group Facilitator, involve direct client contact and may be accepted by some clinical or counseling programs. 

Completing an internship or service learning at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is a good fit for individuals who are:

  • Interested in a future career in the fields of counseling, criminal justice, health education, or the prevention of sexual assault
  • Responsible and reliable in completing service learning/internship work

STSM matches students who are interested in completing an internship or student service learning with one of our pre-existing volunteer programs to ensure that they are able to gain from their experience with our agency. For example, students in counseling or social work, or who want to gain experience in crisis intervention, might volunteer as an advocate.  Students who are in health education and or interested in the prevention of sexual assault might write for our blog or volunteer in the Speaker’s Bureau,  while those who are interested in gaining experience in event planning, fundraising, or how our organization operates might assist in our office.  Students who are currently in or have completed a master's level graduate program can gain client contact hours, including hours towards licensure, through volunteering as an advocate or group facilitator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What would I actually do?

Interns and students working with STSM have, in the past, worked in a variety of areas within our office.  For example, in 2012 one student launched the Consent is Sexy program and another created public service announcements on teen dating violence.  In 2013, interns helped to develop our legal advocacy volunteer program, work on evaluating our volunteer program,  assist in promoting our events, help to organize Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities, and connect STSM to the Hispanic/Latino Community. 

What types of programs do STSM interns come from?

STSM accepts interns from a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including but not limited to: Benedict College; Columbia International University’s psychology program; Fortis College; The University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work, School of Public Health, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Criminal Justice Program, and Spanish department; Webster University; and many more!

How do I get started?

To get started as an intern, you must first complete the Volunteer Application process.  This consists of completing a volunteer application, meeting the Volunteer Services Coordinator for a one-on-one interview, and successfully passing criminal and other background checks.  All applicants must complete this process prior to completing volunteer training or the start of their internship!  As a result, it is important that you start this process as soon as possible (rather than waiting for the end of your academic period) and note that even if your school has approved STSM as an internship/service learning site, each student must still individually be approved by STSM to complete their time with us. If you have any questions about this process, contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator at vsc@www.stsm.org

How would my work as an intern be different from what other volunteers do?

Primary differences include that student interns typically have a formal contract stating the number of hours and type of work that they will do with STSM, may receive more direct supervision than other volunteers, and will be given information to report to their professor/advisor on their volunteer work with STSM. 

Would I be able to begin my internship at the beginning of the semester?

If you are volunteering in the office, you can begin your internship as soon as you complete the application process and are approved to begin volunteering.  For students interested in completing their internship through our Volunteer Advocate program or Speaker’s Bureau, please be aware that you must go through one of our volunteer trainings to fill these roles!  These are held at scheduled intervals that may not correspond to the start of an academic semester, and you cannot volunteer in these roles without completing the training, even if you have an academic background that overlaps with some of the training topics. 

If I am a survivor of sexual assault, would this disqualify me from completing service learning/an internship with STSM?

No.  Many of our volunteers are survivors of sexual assault.  We have found it best that the assault or abuse, as well as any legal proceedings or counseling specifically related to the assault, have ended at least one year prior. If it has been at least one year and you are in a healthy place in your healing process, you are eligible to apply to volunteer. 

I would like to do my service learning hours with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, but I only need a few hours. Could I volunteer for a shorter period?

Students who are interested volunteering for 5 or 10 hours can sometimes volunteer in conjunction with our events, but may not meet the criteria to volunteer in other roles. For example, being a Volunteer Advocate or the Speaker’s Bureau requires that volunteers commit at least one year to the STSM and also complete an extensive amount of training. Being an Advocate or Speaker may not be a good fit for someone who wants to volunteer only to gain community service hours: they are serious and long-term commitments, and typically go far beyond what a class would require.  If you are not able to meet the one-year commitment, you may be able to volunteer in another capacity, such as in the office, which requires at least 45 hours of volunteer time. 

I am interested in bringing a group of students to volunteer for a short time period. Can you accomadate a group of volunteers?

We are sometimes able to accomodate groups of volunteers, such as classes or residence hall groups, by matching the group with one of our events. For example, a class might create shirts for the Clothesline Project or art for our Imagine If Campaign, or a residence hall group might participate in or volunteer to cheer on walkers for Walk A Mile in Her Shoes.  However, we are typically not able to have a group of volunteers in the office during our normal business hours and the availability for group volunteering may depend on our event schedule. If you are interested in group volunteer opportunities, please contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator at vsc@www.stsm.org