The USAID Community Support Program Celebrates the Completion of Internships for Twenty-Four Students
On February 22, the Community Support Program (CSP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recognized the efforts of 24 university students who assisted Lebanese communities during the second round of the internship program. The 24 students benefit from full merit undergraduate scholarships under the University Scholarship Program at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Lebanese American University (LAU). The CSP internship provides aspiring USP scholars the opportunity to gain the professional and practical experience to build on their academic studies, while providing support and technical expertise to municipalities.
The ceremony for the interns was held in the presence of the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Michaels; USAID Mission Director Mary Eileen Devitt; USAID Local Development Office Director Claude Zullo; representatives from AUB, LAU, and CSP; leaders and community members from the municipalities of Akroum, Berkayel, Dedde and Qalamoun (North Lebanon), Fissan and Khiara (Bekaa), and Al Hasbani Union of municipalities and Qrayyeh (South Lebanon) whom the students assisted during their internship. The relationship between students and municipalities fostered by USAID’s CSP allows municipalities to benefit from the expertise of AUB and LAU students while providing students with field expertise and a temporary salary that starts their professional life.
During the ceremony, DCM Michaels bestowed certificates of appreciation to the students for contributing their time and effort to help local communities. He stated that “We truly believe that combining learning and community service can enhance both student growth and the common good. This is why the collaboration between CSP and the University Scholarship Program is an effective avenue to enable students to gain a deeper understanding of classroom concepts through real-world experience…USAID expects by the end of 2024 that this $800,000 program will have provided internships to 150 students, representing 150 opportunities for students to kickstart their professional lives and deepen their sense of citizenship.”
The ceremony was also an opportunity to announce the expansion of the CSP internship program to include AUB and LAU USP graduates (and not only students), which will allow them to support their families during the dire economic situation in Lebanon. Over the course of the internship program, CSP intends to engage at least 150 interns by the end of 2024. Through its University Scholarship Program (USP) and Community Support Program (CSP), the US Government continues to be strongly committed to support the future of higher education and local development in Lebanon.