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Who are we?

Center for Student Opportunity (CSO), a 501(c)(3), is a national nonprofit empowering first-generation college students on the path to and through college. Our work includes:

  • Creating tools and developing resources to help first-generation college students
  • Supporting schools, organizations and individuals who advise these students
  • Partnering with four-year colleges and universities committed to serving and supporting these students

CSO’s newest initiative, I’m First, is an online community providing first-generation college students with support, advice and encouragement. The I’m First project collects personal stories from first-generation college graduates—and students who will be—to inspire and encourage the next generation of students who will be first. The site also features a college search, Q&A forum, student blog and others tools and resources to help aspiring first-generation college students on the road to and through college.

Why is our work important?

Nearly 30 percent (4.5 million) of the more than 15 million students enrolled in postsecondary institutions are first-generation college students. Unfortunately, only 11 percent will graduate with a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to 55 percent of non-first-generation college students. We are addressing this problem head-on by developing programs and resources that promote and strengthen college opportunities for first-generation college students at four-year colleges where students’ likelihood for success is greatest.

What do interns do?

The Center for Student Opportunity internship is designed to be hands-on and expose interns to all facets of an active nonprofit. Responsibilities can include, but are not limited to, program support and development for current and future initiatives, marketing, partner services, and fundraising research and development.

While the internship is designed to have general appeal, we will work with all interns to assign a specific initiative of focus that reflects their field of study and interest areas. The intern will work closely with CSO staff responsible for that initiative. Interns will actively participate in internal meetings, be expected to bring fresh ideas to the table, and contribute meaningfully to the program’s development and operation. There will be many opportunities to gain portfolio materials to take with you.

Who do we look for?

We select interns with excellent writing, communication, and personal skills. Beyond that, we look for individuals who have experience in and knowledge of the nonprofit sector (specific to education a plus) and students that are comfortable working in a startup environment (flexible, hardworking, small office).

What’s the schedule?

Hours are flexible upon student’s schedule. We encourage our interns, however, to come into the office at least 10 hours per week. Please note hourly availability and desired start date in your cover letter.

What’s the compensation?

We provide a transportation stipend for interns pursuing unpaid internships for academic credit. Paid hourly opportunities available, but preference will be given to candidates pursuing academic credit.

Where are we located?

Center for Student Opportunity is located in the metro Washington, D.C. area, just across the street from the Bethesda Metro stop on the Red Line.

How to Apply?

Please submit a letter of application and résumé to