Two Northeast Tarrant County students are taking advantage of the summer vacation by making a difference.
Keller resident Ethan Kerstein, a history and government major at the University of Texas at Austin, is working as a museum exhibit curatorial intern for the Dallas Holocaust Museum.
The museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to teaching the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference for the benefit of all humanity.
Southlake resident Christine Boissevain, a sociology major at the University of North Carolina, is working as a back-to-school campaign intern for Community Partners of Dallas.
The organization is dedicated to ensuring safety and restoring dignity to abused and neglected children by providing resources to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services.
Kerstein and Boissevain are among 30 college students chosen to participate in the 2014 ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program that provides exemplary students with eight-week, paid internships at local nonprofit agencies.
In addition to their internship responsibilities, students participate in professional development and service opportunities.
Kerstein, a graduate of Keller High School, said his internship hits close to home.
My grandparents, Leon and Golda Kerstein, were Holocaust survivors,” said Kerstein, 20. “They were in a camp.”
Kerstein considers his job “very personal and important.”
His work includes helping to install a temporary exhibit about Arthur Szyk, a WWII political cartoonist who addressed “the dangers of Hitler,” he said.
“I appreciate the opportunity to help people to understand the message the museum is trying to convey,” said Kerstein, the son of Eddie and Michele Kerstein of Keller.
Boissevain, a graduate of Southlake Carroll High School, said she is interested in social work and non-profits.
“This is the best of both worlds,” said Bossevain, 21.
Her work includes helping to put together 2,600 backpacks for students. Back-to-school donations also include school uniforms.
“It’s a really cool program. I like looking at a backpack and knowing there’s a kid who’s going to be helped. I’m part of something that’s doing a lot of good,” said the daughter of Dave and Kathleen Boissevain of Southlake.
For more than 20 years, ExxonMobil has sponsored the Community Summer Jobs Program, which provides college undergraduates paid summer internships with North Texas nonprofits.
The program provides much-needed assistance to nonprofit agencies while giving students valuable work experience and an opportunity to make a significant impact in the community.
Since its inception, the company has funded close to 1,600 internships benefiting more than 330 agencies in North Texas.