Story by SFC Meillettis Patton on 04/23/2019ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. This year a new group of interns from the Minority College Relations Program (MCRP) arrived at Rock Island Arsenal ready to learn and gain new experiences.
The Rock Island Arsenal Equal Opportunity Office is sponsoring 17 interns from the MCRP which recruits students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), and Minority Institutions (MI) to work for the government in a 15- week internship.
College students and recent graduates work alongside Soldiers and Department of the Army employees Jan. 14 through April 27 at the Army Sustainment Command, Joint Munitions Command, and Army Contracting Command. Participants will be mentored and will experience working in government positions throughout the commands.
The MCRP interns were welcomed to the Midwest during one the coldest winters in recent memory and learned a quick lesson on adjusting to the traditional unpredictability of mid-west temperatures.
"I arrived January 12," said Jada Nixon, an intern attending Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley Georgia. "It was a big adjustment. We arrived a day it started snowing. It was a shocker."
Nixon is working towards a degree in political science and is interning with the Army Sustainment Command Legal Section on several different projects.
"I'm getting experience in each section," Nixon said. "I've worked on the Legal assistance website, created a tax database brochure that provided resources to the community eligible for tax services, designed a marquee to go up around the installation to inform of our services, and became certified IRS volunteer."
"We're glad she [Nixon] is here. We enjoy working with her and hope the program continues," said Col. Danyele Jordan, ASC Staff Judge Advocate. "Having an intern is a win, win."
"I feel like my line of work goes great with the department I'm in," Nixon said. "I feel this is something that's going to help people. This was the first time I ever transcribed, I learned a lot of patience. I brought in new ideas for transcribing."
"The good thing is that our section is combined, [with Soldiers and civilians]. We enjoy sharing work and she gets to see a broad spectrum," Col Jordan said.
The MCRP provides management with an altruistic avenue for incorporating the command's EEO policy in a way that serves our future workforce. The program enables the development of partnerships HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and MIs.
"I'm able to get an idea of how the government is ran," said Ariel Bowman a graduate of Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama. Bowman has a dual major, in supply chain and business administration.
"I work in the small business section in ASC [Army Sustainment Command]," Bowman said. "I think it's a great program, I feel like I have a good connection with my supervisor and the team. I'm working with the application system SharePoint, and helping to design a website that will provide resources to contractors interested in doing business with the government."
Bowman says a current ASC employee working in the eagle department of ASC, Davona Cooper, a logistic management specialist, has been a great mentor during her time here. Cooper was also an intern in the MCRP while in college and has helped Bowman adjust during her internship.
"Cooper has helped me become organized by helping me write out what I want to achieve in the next five years," Bowman said. "She [Cooper] is someone who motivates me."
"The program can help a lot of students," said Samuel Wilson, an intern majoring in accounting from Richmond California and a student from University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff. "I can see it helping students step out of their comfort zones. "I like the program; I work in G8 at JMC."