HomeNewsArticle Display

Internship program offers hands-on experience in military setting

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Graduating college seniors interested in hands-on experience working with child and youth programs on military installations worldwide are encouraged to sign up for the Military Extension Internship Program (MEIP).

The MEIP enables students to integrate their schooling with more professional knowledge and skills gained through practical, real-world work experience within functions of force support squadron and Airman and family services programs.

But there’s a more important purpose, said Gerald Hires, the MEIP Air Force coordinator at the Air Force Services Activity.

“MEIP is designed to help the intern have a better appreciation for military families and some of the issues military families go through during a deployment,” he said. “Interns see firsthand how children are affected when their parent is deployed. This experience allows interns to put their college coursework to use in helping the children cope with the change.”

In 2009, Purdue University was selected to oversee the program, which is an initiative of the Defense Department’s Military Community and Family Policy Office, the military branches, National 4-H Council headquarters at the Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The program is open to graduating seniors or recent graduates who want to pursue a career working with children.

Since 2010, there have been 302 applicants, with 199 accepted and 32 placed in Air Force positions at various installations.

The 12-week internships are paid and responsibilities vary by installation, Hires said. Before they start their internship, program attendees go through a weeklong orientation where they are assigned a mentor for the duration of the internship.

Rick Banfield, who served as the program coordinator from October 2012 to January 2015, recommends the program but cautions it’s not a fit for everybody.

“If you have a passion to work with the Air Force and children, chances are we can find an opportunity for you,” Banfield said. “I tell them it’s a 180-day job interview.”

Excited for new adventure


Monica Calderon, 22, admitted she took a “leap of faith” when she applied for the MEIP.

Calderon, who plans to graduate with a degree in human development and family studies from Indiana University upon completing the internship, has never been around the Air Force or military families. Her internship begins May 6 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

“I took the internship into consideration, but I didn’t apply until a friend nagged me to do it,” said Calderon, who was born in Houston but raised in South Bend, Indiana. “I’m excited to get accepted. I love working with youths, in particular at-risk youths.

“I never thought about working for the Air Force,” said Calderon, who aspires to attend law school and work in the juvenile justice system. “My family members continuously ask me about it, but if I’m offered a job and I enjoy it, I say ‘Why not?’”

Making the most of her internship

Julie Humberd knew she wanted to work in the Air Force after graduating with a degree in recreation administration from Middle Tennessee State University in 2013.

Her father, Jesse, is a retired Airman who works as a security forces squadron’s information technology manager at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee.

She went online and found MEIP. She applied, was accepted and completed an internship at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013.

“It narrowed down my focus and set me on the path,” Humberd, 26, said of the internship. “I tell everybody about it, especially if you want to work with children and youths and want to learn about the military and travel.”

Humberd is now the outdoor recreation manager at Arnold AFB.

“It developed her professionalism and maturity,” said Banfield, who interviewed Humberd for the internship. “I’m not going to say it was a night-and-day difference because she was mature when she went through her orientation. Now she has her own staff, and you can definitely tell the passion she had about it.”

For more information on MEIP, click here.

Engage

Twitter
As the Joint Force transitioned from a Continuous Bomber Presence posture in the Indo-Pacific theater to a Dynamic… https://t.co/u8JlA3GaeF
Twitter
As of August 2020, The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, aka Hurricane Hunters, has flown 64 missions into 12 s… https://t.co/CFtHJ8HDXG
Twitter
.@AFGlobalStrike tackled B-1B readiness issues head-on by readying the fleet with a roadmap to recovery over a 2-yr… https://t.co/dEfZemGKbb
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years of the U.S. Air Force, we remember the heroes we are proud to have served with. Today we… https://t.co/3pdHX3DvIn
Twitter
Flying, fighting and winning since 1947. #USAF73 https://t.co/qM28ykPZwt
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Proud to fly the @usairforce flag today and every day! Happy 73rd Birthday! #YourAcademy #FamilyWeek https://t.co/hOIs1ghq7M
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today we honor the #heroes who knew the worst of war and the agony of captivity - those who fought for and lost their fre…
Twitter
RT @ArmyMateriel: Join us in wishing a Happy Birthday to our brothers and sisters in the United States Air Force! #DYK The Air Force was…
Twitter
RT @JBABdc: Happy 73rd birthday, @usairforce! The USAF Band and Honor Guard were thrilled to help kick off the celebration on Fox & Friends…
Twitter
RT @AFSAHQ: Happy Birthday to the world's greatest @UsAirForce ! 73 years of excellence, service and sacrifice. Thank you to all the #Air
Twitter
RT @97AMW: Happy 73rd birthday @usairforce! As we celebrate today, we honor the heroism of our Airmen, past and present, who have been the…
Twitter
RT @53rdWRS: Special birthday shoutout to @usairforce! 73 never looked so good! What better way to celebrate than by flying another missio…
Twitter
RT @HollomanAFB: #happybirthday Birthday @usairforce ✈️🇺🇸🎊🎉 Happy Friday! We made it! #F16Friday #combatairpower https://t.co/EedHtI62sn
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Today, we celebrate 7️⃣3️⃣ years as the world's leading source of #airpower✈️ Fly, Fight, Win! #USAF73 #AFBDay https://t.…
Twitter
RT @156WingPRANG: From all the PRANG Airmen, Happy 73rd Birthday @usairforce. Fly, Fight, Win! #AimHigh #USAF #PRANG #theGreatest #Wingmen
Twitter
RT @WarriorCare: To our heroes in the sky✈️, we want to wish you a Happy Birthday 🎂 https://t.co/OvGEBUOKNO
Twitter
RT @180thFW: Celebrating 73 years of AIR POWER! Happy Birthday United States Air Force! Air National Guard | Ohio National Guard https:/…
Twitter
RT @AlabamaNG: #HappyBirthday to the @usairforce and an especially warm birthday shoutout to our more than 2,000 ALNG Airmen. Even at 73, y…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,279,294
Follow Us