SECU Foundation renewal expands internship program with nearly $1.5 million in funding!

RALEIGH, NC (January 27, 2021)

The Board of Directors of SECU Foundation has approved the renewal of the SECU Public Fellows Internship program – excellent news for students seeking unique internship opportunities in local communities throughout the state.  The renewal includes a program expansion to fifteen campuses in the University of North Carolina (UNC) System with an allocation of $1,450,000 in funding; this will allow up to twenty in-state undergraduates per campus to be awarded a paid internship position.  Universities participating and serving as program administrators for 2021 include: Appalachian State, East Carolina, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, NC A&T State, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Pembroke, UNC-Wilmington, NC Central, NC State, Western Carolina, and Winston-Salem State.

The SECU Public Fellows Internship program began in 2015 as a pilot at three universities.  It was designed to help build capacity for underserved areas and to reduce talent drain from rural North Carolina communities.  Since then, university administrators have placed over 800 SECU Public Fellows interns at local agencies/organizations, which serve as host sites in 48 North Carolina counties.  The internships have become a valuable educational and career enhancing opportunity for interns to develop their professional skills, obtain on-the-job experience, and give back to their local communities, while assigned to non-profit and public sector organizations.

We are extremely pleased with the tremendous success of the SECU Public Fellows Internship program,” said Jo Anne Sanford, SECU Foundation Board Chair.  “The positive feedback from interns, host sites, and UNC system administrators each year continues to generate increased awareness and interest in these internships.  This is an amazing program and we are proud that today’s talented young adults are taking advantage of the opportunity to build connections and help stimulate growth in underserved areas of North Carolina.”

Christie Poteet, Director of the Office for Community and Civic Engagement at UNC-Pembroke, remarked, “The SECU Public Fellows Internship program has been instrumental in helping us provide our students with opportunities to gain valuable, hands-on experience.  In rural areas of North Carolina, like Robeson and surrounding counties, community-based agencies may not have the financial resources to host interns, but greatly benefit from the skills and talents our students are able to bring to their agencies and our community.”

Ms. Poteet continued, “Similarly, students at UNC-Pembroke are eager to take advantage of opportunities to learn and serve, but may not be able to do so due to the need to work in order to pay for tuition, books, and other necessities.  Thanks to the SECU Foundation grant, we are able to meet the financial need of our students while providing them with a unique educational opportunity to serve and impact our community.  This type of experience is truly a win for everyone.”

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 85 years. SECU is the second largest credit union in the United States with $50 billion in assets. It serves over 2.7 million members through 274 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, Member Services Support via phone,, and a Mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high-impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare, and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of over $235 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide. World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,451 credit unions in 118 countries serve 375 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


Contact: Jama Campbell, Executive Director
Office: 919-839-5562 |

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