USF World News

USF Student to Complete Service Internship in India
May 2, 2011

Lauren Richardson was recently named a 2011 Yuva for SEWA Fellow and was awarded an internship to work with a local NGO in the Pune area of India for 10 weeks this summer.  Surajya Sarwangin Vikas Prakalpa is an NGO working in the slums on the outskirts of Pune city (Maharashtra). It runs study-rooms, free tuition classes, counseling centers, and micro-credit groups for working women. The micro-credit groups and study centers also act as a platform for other education and community programs for the people living in these resource poor areas. This internship is awarded to only a small number of students nationwide.

Ms. Richardson, an International Studies major and Honors College student, will document and analyze the social process of empowerment in children in Pune city, specifically the Yerawada area.  She will be working with local members of the NGO and community, teaching in the study rooms, interacting with the children, and visiting the homes of women in the slum. After getting acquainted with the workings of the NGO, Ms. Richardson will complete her own project to document the social process and success of intervention and empowerment in the women and children through videos, photographs, interviews and focus groups. Her aim is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Surajya’s programs, so they can better replicate or reform them for future work.

SEWA International is one of the largest non-profit groups in India, committed to sustainable development projects. SEWA International has branches in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries. Projects are in all fields of humanitarianism and development. The fellowship program selects 10 to 12 students from across the country each year to travel to various parts of India as interns

Freeman, Boren, DAAD, and CLS scholarships also fund enrolled students to go to international locales.  Freeman-ASIA provides scholarship funding for students to study in East and Southeast Asia.  Freeman-Indonesia provides undergraduate students internships with nonprofit organizations abroad.  DAAD is specifically for study, research and internships in Germany.  Boren emphasizes language and study abroad for 6-12 months. Each summer, the Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) sends students to learn one of 13 critical languages in the country in which it is spoken for 7-10 weeks.  More information on these scholarships and many more can be found at the Office of National Scholarships website:

Ms. Penny Carlton in the Office of National Scholarships work with USF’s high achieving students who seek out internships and scholarships. She said, “We recommend that students come to our office early in their University career in order to learn about scholarship opportunities. Internships are a great way for students to gain experience and develop their scholarship profile for other awards.  There are many opportunities for outstanding students as early as freshman year to apply for merit scholarships to study or research abroad, as well as for graduate school. The USF Office of National Scholarships in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research consults with students to identify research and internship opportunities and strengthen their applications to prestigious scholarships.” Contact the Office of National Scholarships at

For more information on the Undergraduate Scholars award or merit scholarships, contact Penny Carlton, MFA, or Dr. Linda Lucas at the Office of National Scholarships by phone (813) 974-3087 or by email   in person at SVC 1088 and online at to get the competitive edge.

Contact: Office of National Scholarships                                                    
Ms  Penny Carlton
Tel:  (813) 974-3087
Lauren may be reached for comment at:  850-797-0571