Social Impact Internship Grants Support Student Interning in Nonprofit Organizations

social impact grant news
Apr 22 2022

Seven students who are interning at non-profit organizations (NPO) this spring have been awarded grants by the Career Development Center (CDC) to help with living expenses. This year’s  Social Impact Internship Grants will support students working at non-profit organizations such as United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Asia Society.

“CDC hopes to support and encourage more students every year to intern at NPOs to enhance their professional skills, increase their awareness and understanding of social issues, and contribute to the world,” said Gu Yuwei, CDC’s Career Engagement Program Manager.

Applications for grants open every semester and summer break for students who have secured unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations. Since 2016, CDC has made awards to 63 students, including 34 Chinese and 29 international students with internships in a range of non-profits - including those working in education, health care, environmental protection, and poverty alleviation.

Cai Jingyuan ’22 and Bao Yucheng ’24, who are currently interning at the UNIDO, are among the latest awardees. The pair’s duties have included researching various industries and connecting investors with projects on innovative and sustainable technology.

“Before this internship, I only had a vague concept of Sustainable Development Goals. But now, I have learned how such goals can be reached through different methods based on real business cases,” Bao said.

“This internship has given me a better sense of how private and public sectors interact with each other. I’ve learned that only when policy makers understand how individuals in the private sectors make decisions, can they come up with incentive policies that meet the real needs,” Cai said. “It helps me set my career goal to start in the private sector to learn how the industry works and then return to the public sector.”

Nina Ruffolo ’23 has also been awarded a grant to support her work as a Program Development Intern at Asia Society Northern California, an organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships between Asia and the world. “I was honored and thrilled to receive the Social Impact Grant,” Ruffolo said. “I have gained a lot of insight into NPOs and educational programming through this internship. The grant allows me to take roles I might otherwise not be able to and offers a lot of opportunity. ”

The CDC also offers many other opportunities in the non-profit and public service sector. Their  Global Governance and Chinese Culture Summer Bootcamp aims to support students who wish to explore careers in global governance and become global citizens and leaders. Twenty students will be selected each year to join a 6-day program in Beijing to deepen their understanding of UN and Chinese Culture. The next round of applications is planned to open in 2023 Spring. 

Students can also join the NPO and IO interest Group created by CDC where they can find more information about relevant internships, jobs, research projects, and exclusive networking opportunities with employers. To join the group, please reach out to CDC via