Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Southwestern receives $50,000 grant from Verizon Foundation to Fund Domestic Violence Summer Intern Program

  • News Image
    Participants in the 2009 summer domestic violence internship program stand with representatives from Verizon, which funded the program.
  • News Image
    David Russell and Carl Erhart from Verizon present Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum with a check to fund the 2009 summer domestic violence internship program. At right is Suzy Pukys, director of civic engagement at Southwestern.
  • News Image
    Laura Burrow (left), Margaret Dunham and Rachel Hampton (right) are interning at Hope Alliance. Their supervisor is Southwestern graduate Britt Cox (second from right).
  • News Image
    Lauren Margulieux is interning with the Georgetown Police Department Victim Services Department. Her supervisor is Anthony Rector.

Nine students will begin work May 26 at five local agencies

Nine Southwestern University students will spend the summer working with survivors of domestic and family violence, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. 

The students will begin work May 26 at five local agencies − Hope Alliance in Round Rock, LifeSteps in Georgetown, SafePlace in Austin, Services to At-Risk Runaway Youth (STARRY) in Round Rock, and the Victim Services Unit of the Georgetown Police Department.  

They will provide support services to women and children at emergency shelters, help answer domestic violence emergency hotlines, assist with intake at domestic violence shelters, develop awareness campaigns on violence prevention, facilitate discussions and activities with families directly affected by violence, and work with law enforcement in the field to provide support to victims.

This is the second year the Verizon Foundation has funded this summer internship program.  

Suzy Pukys, director of civic engagement at Southwestern, said the program gives students a valuable opportunity to apply what they have learned in classes to real life and real people.

It also provides much-needed help to local non-profit agencies, who are continually asking for student help. 

“Summer is an ideal time for students to make a significant investment as an intern or volunteer, but most students cannot afford to work without pay,” Pukys said. “Funding from the Verizon Foundation solves this problem for a group of our students who want to learn about domestic/family violence issues but who could not typically afford to spend a summer as volunteers.”

Pukys will help students participating in the program reflect on their experiences. The students will share their experiences at Southwestern’s annual Student Works Symposium in the spring, as well as at regional or national conferences that focus on civic engagement in higher education, experiential learning or internships.