The alumni-founded organization Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS), which has over the past 24 years provided more than 1,500 Princeton undergraduates with the opportunity to learn about civic engagement through hands-on internships, will now be part of the University’s John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center of Civic Engagement.
PICS was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1996 by the Class of 1969 and has flourished with the support of Princeton alumni, classes and regional associations. PICS has expanded from sponsoring 13 students per year to 200, and more than 600 undergraduates applied to be interns last summer. Students who are selected to participate in PICS are placed in 8-to-10-week summer internships that promote a civic service mission and provide an experiential learning experience. They are also paired with an alumni mentor who supports their summer experiences and introduces them to the Princeton alumni network.
“The Class of 1969 was inspired by the notion of giving back to the community by having alumni mentor Princeton undergraduates to help them develop a life-long commitment to service,” said Chuck Freyer ’69, chairman of the PICS board since 2009. “Partnering with the Pace Center reinforces that mission and will enable more students to pursue the meaningful service opportunities that make the Princeton undergraduate experience unique, while simultaneously ensuring that PICS will prosper long into the future.”
The partnership builds on PICS’ current relationship with the Pace Center as a summer service internship collaborator via Service Focus, which seeks to bridge service and learning across the first two years of the undergraduate experience at Princeton.
With the Pace Center, PICS joins service-oriented internship programs such as the Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice, which provides students at Princeton, Barnard College and Columbia University the opportunity to intern with criminal justice nonprofit organizations; the John C. Bogle ’51 Fellows in Civic Service, which offers Princeton first-year students the opportunity to design their own summer service internship experience; and Projects for Peace, which enables undergraduate students to design grassroots summer projects, anywhere in the world, that promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties.
“PICS expands the student service and civic engagement experience at Princeton,” said Kimberly de los Santos, the John C. Bogle ’51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Executive Director of the Pace Center. “Together, the Pace Center and PICS will further broaden service and civic engagement as essential aspects of a Princeton education and provide opportunities for undergraduates to learn, serve, and lead.”
The 2019-2020 academic year will be one of transition, as PICS operates as it has previously and the Pace Center prepares to integrate the program into the University, said de los Santos.
Student leaders welcome the partnership between the Pace Center and PICS as an opportunity to enrich the student experience.
“I see this partnership as an opportunity to bring together service-minded students from different parts of the campus community,” said Emma Pannulo ’20, co-chair of the PICS Student Advisory Council. “I hope this creates a dialogue across many service groups where students can candidly share their experiences and insights with each other and ultimately learn and grow together.”
“PICS joining the University and Pace Center will foster a unified service environment within the student-body, and can streamline services and information sharing between all the unique civic engagement programs on campus,” added Sher Gill ’21, fellow co-chair of the PICS Student Advisory Council. “I think it's something we all should be excited about."