The Civil War Institute is delighted to announce a special opportunity to support the Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program, which provides Gettysburg College students unparalleled internship opportunities in history, thus supporting the preservation, interpretation, and management of special historic places for decades to come. Now through July 31, 2018, gifts to the program will be matched dollar for dollar from a pool of $10,000 in available match funds, making this the perfect time to maximize the impact of your gift.
The Pohanka Internship Program offers Gettysburg students a remarkable opportunity to do paid work on the frontlines of history, giving public tours of iconic historic sites, gaining hands-on experience with original artifacts, leading children’s programs, and conducting independent historical research. It is unique among undergraduate programs across the county. Thanks to the generosity of the Pohanka Foundation, the Civil War Institute is able to place 20 to 25 students at various historical parks every summer. The vast majority of these positions focus on Civil War battlefields within the National Park Service system, where the student interns are provided an opportunity to do what Brian Pohanka was renowned for --- bring the Civil War to life through dramatic storytelling and sophisticated interpretation. Like Brian Pohanka, these young people reach thousands of Americans every summer in ways that help their audiences gain critical insights about contemporary America by looking to the past.
The testimonials of National Park Service supervisors attest to the importance of the Pohanka interns to the educational mission of this beloved but underfunded federal agency. And the students return to Gettysburg College with a passion for public service, having given themselves to the cause of education in what can only be described as an intensive, demanding, but incredibly rewarding summer experience. Many of these young people have gone on to graduate school in the field, or entered the professional ranks as historians, museum curators, and archivists. And those students who go into non-history fields have told us that the Pohanka program has well prepared them for careers in business, public policy, and academic leadership.
At a time when young people are in need of meaningful experiences and seek opportunities to build networks in their chosen field, the Pohanka program offers unparalleled opportunities for professional development. Through its emphasis on the responsibility that we all have as caretakers and teachers of the Civil War past, the program has touched the lives of hundreds of students and thousands of visitors to National Park Service sites. We would greatly appreciate your help in supporting its future by making a gift during this matching period. Donations may be made online, or mailed to the CWI office (300 N. Washington Street, Campus Box 435, Gettysburg, PA 17325). Checks can be made out to “Gettysburg College f/b/o CWI Pohanka Fellows.”