Student Internship Scholarship Grants Program

African American Experience Fund Student Internship
Scholarship Grants Program
In partnership with the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program

National Park Service
Washington, D.C.

The African American Experience Fund (AAEF), a program of the National Park Foundation (NPF), launched a new partnership with the Cultural Resources Diversity Program of the National Park Service (NPS) in October 2011 to increase opportunities for African American historic sites and parks to participate in the NPS Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). Through this program, AAEF's Student Internship Scholarship Grants Program will expand student placement at AAEF parks and sites to help develop future generations of African American history story-tellers, archivists and preservationists, and to help increase diversity in our nation's parks by exposing more African American youth to careers in the National Park Service (NPS).

Currently in its 13th year, the CRDIP offers unique career exploration opportunities in historic preservation and cultural resources work for undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds and is part of a comprehensive effort to diversify the historic preservation and cultural resources field.

Each summer and academic year, the CRDIP offers paid internships with NPS park units and administrative offices, other federal agencies, state historic preservation offices, local governments, and private organizations. These intern hosts provide work experiences that assist interns with building their resumes in this field. Intern sponsors are chosen through a competitive process, including submission of a project proposal for the internship. Visit and select “Internships” for more information.

AAEF will work in collaboration with the NPS to identify students across academic institutions, including historically black colleges and universities for placement at African American historic sites and parks to support preservation, education and community engagement programs. Students will participate in a range of activities from digital archiving to digital storytelling training and other programs that can help increase the capacity of these historic parks and sites to welcome and engage diverse communities through culturally relevant park stories and experiences. 

The CRDIP program includes a 10–week Internship and participation in a 3-day Career Workshop in Washington, D.C., to expose youth to programs and institutions beyond their internship experience. Students will meet NPS officials, learn about NPS programs, and meet with professionals from other institutions, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Smithsonian Institution, to inform them about the varied career paths within the NPS. Internships can also be extended on a case-by-case basis.

The CRDIP is a cost share program. The cost of an internship is shared on a 50/50 basis between the CRDIP and the intern host. AAEF is seeking individual and corporate contributions for matching grants of $7,500 for each internship. For more information on AAEF and to make a contribution visit: or contact us at 202-354-6460.

Since it was established in 2001, AAEF has provided more than $1.3 million in grant support for projects and programs at national parks and historic sites supported by AAEF. These parks and sites welcome more than 2 million visitors annually.