Refugee Garden Youth Education Intern

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How to Apply

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. A one-page cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline experience that directly relates to it. 


This is a student summer internship position with Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. Working with both the Education team and the Campus Farm team, the Refugee Garden Youth Education Intern works directly with youth accompanying RAPP (Refugee Agriculture Partnership Program) program enrollees,  providing activities, unstructured nature play, and environmental education as appropriate while families are onsite. This intern will gain skills in supporting clients in a collaborative resettlement program, developing a sense of belonging and welcome to children and their families. The internship program runs May 6 through August 15, 2024.

Who We Are

University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) stewards over 840 acres of land and water across four properties in and around Ann Arbor, with Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens serving as its two anchor locations. Click here to view our Strategic Plan. With more than 500,000 annual visitors, MBGNA is committed to becoming a transformative force for social and ecological resilience through the lands and waters we steward. We put that commitment into action by:  

  • Positioning humans as active participants within the natural world and compelling the university community and our publics to negotiate the full complexity that entails
  • Advancing partnerships, programs, user experience, and all that we steward to catalyze equity and justice in a radically changing world
  • Emerging as University of Michigan's premier partner for research, teaching, and public impact in sustainability, climate-forward practices, and biocultural diversity
  • Promoting healthier communities, cultures, and ecosystems through active care and cultivation of the gardens, fields, natural habitats, and dynamic systems that sustain our world.

MBGNA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan and sustain the excellence of University of Michigan.


  • Implementing the RAPP Youth Education schedule and program on-site Tuesdays (10:00-2pm) and -Thursday  from 10:00am - 12:00pm 
  • Conduct all material assembly and preparation for on-site RAPP Youth Education activities
  • Work closely with Jewish Family Services RAPP program coordinator and MBGNA Campus Farm Program Manager to coordinate youth activities with adult activities so youth are in the building when clients are in the building and youth are in the garden when clients are in the garden. 
  • Work with CF program manager and RAPP program coordinator to cultivate a RAPP youth garden plot in one of the plots within the RAPP garden to allow RAPP youth a space to garden alongside their parents/families. 
  • Learn and maintain a functional knowledge of the RAPP garden irrigation, planting, tools storage systems so as to be able to help support clients and families in their use of the RAPP garden space. 
  • Adjust and improve the RAPP Youth Education schedule and programming, document for future iterations
  • Collaborate and coordinate with Campus Farm, Education and Jewish Family Services partner for programmatic operations and compliance. 

Required Qualifications*

  • Graduated high school and currently enrolled in a college/university by the internship start date of May 6, 2024, or a December 2023 or spring 2024 college or university graduate.
  • Experience and/or desire to build community with a diverse youth and family population
  • Experience working directly with youth, in outdoor and indoor settings.
  • Pedagogical knowledge for Youth Education and/or Environmental Education 

Desired Qualifications*

  • Basic gardening experience or a willingness to learn
  • Language skills in Spanish, French, Dari, Kinyarwanda or other languages other than English

Additional Information

  • This intern works up to 40 hours per week, with onsite engagement Tuesday-Thursday May 6-August 15. 
  • 1 position available
  • Compensation: $15/hour.
  • Some hybrid, remote work is available on days when youth are not present on-site.  
  • Note: Since internship positions that involve work with children require a background check, students offered a position will be required to go through a background check process.
  • Work Location: The primary work location for most of these internships is on-site at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor. 
  • Requires daily work outside
  • For more information about Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, please visit

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.