CONCORD, N.H. – ROC USA® welcomed two University of New Hampshire students this week who will spend the summer helping staff and affiliates across the country improve efficiency and productivity implementing a new system of business processes.
Riley Gilmore and Andrew Grondin, both rising seniors will play key roles at ROC USA in customizing the recently deployed Salesforce platform. They are part of the highly selective Social Innovation Internship program at UNH’s Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise.
Grondin, of Bow, N.H., is majoring in entrepreneurial studies and information systems. He said he was drawn to the internship program and ROC USA in particular after hearing about a friend’s intern experience last summer.
“He actually worked with ROC-NH (a ROC USA® Network affiliate) all summer, and then stayed on part-time during the year developing a project to bring Internet access to the communities they work with across the state,” said Grondin, a Concord High grad. “He told me about the great work they do, and then I learned that ROC USA is like ROC-NH, just in more states. Combined with this summer’s project, it just seemed like it aligned so well with my studies and my values.”
Gilmore, a political science major minoring in education and business administration, said she’s excited because she’s heard how different the Social Innovation interns’ experiences are from that of typical interns.
“So many students end up getting coffee and making copies, but we know that won’t be the case here,” said Riley, A Haverhill, Mass., native who is also a member of the UNH cross country and track and field teams. “Instead, we’re really getting involved and doing things that matter with good companies who are doing things that matter.”
ROC USA has hosted at least one Social Innovation intern six of the last seven years. These men and women have worked on an array of topics including online education, web development and legal compliance. ROC USA President Paul Bradley, himself a UNH graduate, said he looks forward every year to having young, eager summer workers join the team.
“It’s even more meaningful that it’s my alma mater sending us these bright and talented students looking to make a difference in the world” said Bradley, winner of the inaugural Carsey Social Innovator of the Year in 2013. “It can’t help but take me back to my days in Durham and my early days at the Community Loan Fund. I’m so glad there’s infrastructure now to help place these talented, dedicated students in positions to be effective.”
ROC USA is a nonprofit social venture launched in May 2008 by national and regional nonprofits that joined together to serve one mission: To make quality resident ownership viable nationwide and to expand economic opportunities for homeowners in manufactured (mobile) home communities. Based on the nearly 25 years of similar work in New Hampshire by the Community Loan Fund, ROC USA now works with more than 200 resident-owned communities (ROCs) in 14 states. ROC USA is comprised of two subsidiaries, ROC USA Network and ROC USA Capital, a community development financial institution (CDFI) that makes loans for community purchase, rehabilitation, refinancing, and pre-purchase due diligence.
The Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise selects a handful of idealistic, high-achieving, impact-focused student leaders for the Social Innovation Internship program. Each intern works at a different host organization based on their skills and interests and reports to a supervisor at that organization. Interns spend the majority of the summer at their respective host organizations and occasionally come together as a cohort for trainings in social innovation and entrepreneurship.