Mount St. Joseph University

Students give back to community through Summer Employment Program

Mission & Ministry, Press Releases, Student Life


File Under: prokids, santa maria, summer employment program

Woman presenting.

Some students work just to earn a paycheck. Others work to give back.

Dominique Springs works to give back. Springs, a senior studying communications and new media studies at the College of Mount St. Joseph, works in the public relations office of ProKids — an organization that had helped her when she was younger.

By the time Springs was 15 years old, she had been in three different foster homes and at age 16, got involved with the ProKids program. ProKids is a nonprofit agency that provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Hamilton County who are in the child protection system.

Springs left the program once she turned 18, but kept in touch with the organization. Because ProKids had helped her, she decided to help others.

Springs is employed at ProKids partially through the Summer Employment Program at the Mount. The Summer Employment Program matches Mount students with an organization to work a summer job based on the needs of the organization and the financial needs of the student. The SC Ministry Foundation funds the students’ salaries; the non-profit organizations chosen to benefit from the program are local grantees of the SC Ministry Foundation.

“The Summer Employment Program is an excellent opportunity for students to get practical experience for possible future careers, and also to earn some money over the summer,” said Peggy Smith, coordinator of the Summer Employment Program at the Mount. “It also impresses on the students the importance of giving back to their communities, in the spirit of the mission of the Mount.”

Tevin Byers is another Mount student who gives back to the community through the Summer Employment Program.Image: Tevin Byers

Byers, a junior psychology major, is spending his summer working at Santa Maria Community Services in Sedamsville. Santa Maria is a nonprofit organization that provides services such as Meals on Wheels, life skills training and wellness programs. As a program coordinator assistant,

Byers helps to organize volunteers, prepare for events and programs and assist with Meals on Wheels. He is also working on a volunteer video that will feature the Meals on Wheels program.

“It was something I knew I would like,” he said. “What I really love doing is helping people.”

Byers says he ultimately wants to be a child counselor with his own practice, and hopes that his experience with Santa Maria will help him achieve his goals.

Springs says she also hopes that her time working with ProKids will one day lead to a full-time job working in public relations, but is also happy that she had the experience working with the organization.

“Everyone has such a passion for what they do,” she said. “They’ve all been here for a long time and they really love it. These people are working to really help make a change in kids’ futures.”

The College of Mount St. Joseph is an undergraduate and graduate Catholic college that provides an interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curriculum emphasizing values, service and social responsibility.