Opportunities for Rising Scholars

Underground Scholars Ambassador Program

The Underground Scholars Initiative offers leadership development training through its Ambassador Program, with opportunities to learn about transferring to the University of California while you build skills in communication, organizing, advocacy and more.

This program is for community college students who were

  • formerly incarcerated
  • previously arrested, or
  • have had a family member incarcerated

Sign up to attend an information session on Tuesday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to noon. You will hear from current and past Ambassadors as well as the staff who lead the program. We will offer an overview of the program and the benefits of joining, with time for questions, too.

Sign up for info session

Stanford Research: Paid Internships

Stanford University is offering four exciting paid internship opportunities this summer specifically for current community college students who were previously incarcerated or have been affected by the criminal justice system. Interns will work closely with faculty and graduate student mentors to gain authentic research experience and skills.

  • You don't need prior research experience to apply.  
  • Internships are six to eight weeks long, from mid-June to mid-August, with stipends of $4,500 for six weeks and $6,000 for eight weeks.
  • Application directions and contact information are in the project descriptions below. You may also contact Kyle Cole at kylecole@stanford.edu for more information.

Stanford Center for Racial Justice

The Stanford Center for Racial Justice (SCRJ) is seeking an intern to support the center’s research in the focus areas of Education and Opportunity and Safety and Justice. Ongoing projects in these areas are designed to develop innovative solutions and address entrenched racial inequities in the U.S.

Interns may be asked to: conduct in-depth research on open source materials and databases; write summaries of their findings; collect, organize, and analyze data; and collaborate with the Center’s faculty, staff, and other interns on various projects.

The Center is looking for an intern with research and writing skills and an interest in the Center’s work. Access to a personal computer and reliable internet connection will be necessary.

  • Internship dates: June 17-Aug. 9 (eight weeks) – $6,000 stipend
  • Applications are due Friday, April 12.
  • To apply, please send your resume and an email explaining your interest to scrj@law.stanford.edu 

Know Systemic Racism Project

Retired judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell advised the Know Systemic Racism (KSR) project that collecting policy manuals serves an important role in creating an informed populace.

KSR has gathered an extensive set of policy manuals from California law enforcement agencies. But how can people best learn from these policies? The Center for Racial Justice at Stanford Law School has been working on a model use of force policy that addresses the ambiguities in current policies and the ways they are designed to protect the police more than the people they are meant to protect and serve.

During this summer project, student interns will work with a collaborative team from the Know Systemic Racism project at Stanford Libraries and the Center for Racial Justice at Stanford Law School to design tools to investigate the use of force policies of law enforcement agencies within California and nationally.

Students will read policy documents and learn about the legal history with regard to the use of force. They will apply this research to the design of a system that will help individuals engage with policing policy and learn how to ask questions. Successful candidates will demonstrate enthusiasm for online research, reading, and collaborative work. Access to a personal computer and reliable internetconnection will be necessary.

  • Applications are due Friday, April 19.
  • To apply, email Nicole Coleman at cnc@stanford.edu 

Science, Technology and Reconstructive Surgery

The Stanford Science Technology and Reconstructive Surgery (STaRS) summer internship was founded on the principle that scientific education is the single, most powerful tool to improving human health. Many of us who provide mentorship in this internship have achieved our own current positions because of early mentoring. Our shared goal through STaRS is to motivate exceptional young people find the challenges, excitement, and immense rewards that a career in medicine and the biomedical field provides.

Interns work side-by-side with experienced clinician/scientist mentors who will challenge, inspire, and guide them on their first steps toward a career in research and healthcare. The first week of the internship is devoted to bridging gaps in skills and knowledge that will prepare interns for success. In the next 7 weeks of the internship, you’ll be surrounded by microscopes and test tubes and chemicals, along with fellow interns who are interested in challenging themselves and our experienced mentors and near-peers.

Our lab focuses on research questions that have broad implications for human health. We are particularly interested in those questions surrounding stem cell biology and a new area called “regenerative medicine”.

  • Internship dates: June 10-Aug. 2 (eight weeks) – $6,000 stipend
  • Applications are due Tuesday, April 30
  • To apply, please send your resume and an email explaining your interest to Dr. Jill Helms at jhelms@stanford.edu 

Systems Navigator Project

Stanford Professor Matthew Clair is working with the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender to pilot a “Systems Navigator” in their office and in the Hall of Justice courthouse in San Jose.

A Systems Navigator is a novel position within a public defender's office that seeks to improve communication and collaboration between lawyers and their clients. Our project is based on existing research on mistrust in attorney-client relationships and emerged from Professor Clair’s Court Listening Project, which is a research study and archive of court systems in the Bay Area.

Professor Clair is seeking a community college intern with direct experience with the criminal legal system (e.g., arrest or incarceration) to assist with interviewing and observing clients and lawyers who work with the Systems Navigator. Interviewing would take place in-person at the courthouse in San Jose or over the phone. Observations would take place in person at the courthouse, and would include writing up lengthy, in-depth field notes within 24 hours of observations.

Necessary skills include strong oral and written communication skills, experience working with people with complex needs (e.g., unhoused people, people with mental illness, and people with substance use disorders), and ability to commute daily to and from San Jose (by public transit or car; commuting within the South Bay will be reimbursed). Fluency in English and another common language in the county (e.g., Spanish or Vietnamese) is a plus.

  • Internship dates: June 24-Aug. 16 (eight weeks) – $6,000 stipend
  • The deadline to apply is March 13
  • To apply, please email a cover letter, resume and name of a reference to Professor Clair at mclair@stanford.edu

Educating for Change Scholarship: Up to $1,000

Learn More and Apply

This scholarship provides financial support to California community college students who have a parent incarcerated in a prison administered by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The scholarship amount per student will be up to $1,000 per academic term, which may be used to cover education-related costs, such as tuition and fees, books and other instructional materials, computer equipment, internet access, educational tools, and uniforms. 

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