Internships! They are part of the collegiate experience for many students. Often you hear stories about internships being a semester of coffee making and envelope stuffing.  But at VF, internships are a real pathway to career!

In August of 1999, a Public Administration student from James Madison University arrived to intern at VF and she never left! Emily Swenson began her tenure at the volunteer center as an administrative intern.  She was dedicated and succeeded at progressively responsible duties.  Following graduation, she stayed on, and during her 17-year career with VF, both she and the center have grown. From intern to Chief Operating Officer, Emily is a guiding hand and walking history book.  On any given day, she might be supervising staff, wrestling the budget, fixing a computer hookup, or volunteering in the community with her young family. Recently, as a tribute to our former intern, a very thoughtful donation was received at Volunteer Fairfax:  $10 for every year of Emily’s service.

Yes, internships are for real pathway to career at Volunteer Fairfax.   Staff is dedicated to ensuring that interns get real-world experience that will serve them well and turn into a real-world job… maybe even at Volunteer Fairfax.

Meet Audrey Wilson. Audrey came to Volunteer Fairfax in September 2015 as a student/intern with the Michigan State University Study Away Program in Washington DC.  As a Criminal Justice major, interning for the Alternative Community Service program was a perfect match.  After graduation in Spring 2016, Audrey returned to VF as full-time staff to manage the ACS and Volunteers for Change programs.

Wait, wait, there’s more! Jessica Warren, Elaine Lydick, and Samantha Watson, are all former VF interns who began their careers by joining regular staff after graduation. Their dedication to volunteerism and building better community through service has been long appreciated.

We thank all of our interns who become part of the VF family for a time…and a special thank you to those who stayed.  Volunteer Fairfax could not accomplish the sheer volume of work at the center without the help of dedicated and talented interns.

This semester, we welcome our Spring 2017 interns Malika and Julia!  We look forward to working with them and helping them achieve real-world experience, while they help us build better communities through service! It’s a win/win!

For information on internships at Volunteer Fairfax, visit or call 703-246-3460.