Rogers State University senior Necas Collins competed with and ended up leading interns from Ivy League schools during a summer internship through the Washington Center, a nationally-recognized internship program that places students with private, public and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C.
“I worked alongside students from prestigious schools like Princeton and the University of Florida. Those schools have a well-deserved reputation,” said Collins. “I was able to show RSU students can go toe-to-toe with schools of that caliber and excel.”
Collins interned at the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender in Rockville, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C. The Office of the Public Defender is charged with providing legal representation to indigent defendants in Maryland.
Collins said RSU was not well-known to the attorneys he worked for or to his fellow interns. Some erroneously believed RSU was in Jamaica where Collins calls home.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity not only to represent myself but to represent RSU,” said Collins. “Because RSU wasn’t as well-known, I knew I had to work longer and harder than everyone else.”
Collins was usually the first intern to arrive and the last to leave, often volunteering for assignments that no one else wanted. That hard work helped put Collins in charge of the other interns in the Office of the Public Defender and earned him a perfect evaluation at the end of his internship.
“I was not surprised,” said RSU History and Political Science Professor Dr. Carolyn Taylor. “Necas had a very positive experience that will be useful in his career path and beyond.” Dr. Taylor is the academic sponsor for RSU’s Washington Center internship program.
A graduate from Tivoli Gardens High School in Kingston, Jamaica, Collins is the first student-athlete in RSU history to earn the prestigious Washington Center internship. Collins, who is majoring in justice administration, earned college credit after successfully completing the program.
Collins also excels outside the classroom, playing forward for the Hillcat men’s soccer team. He is on track to graduate from RSU with a bachelor’s degree in May 2015.
Washington Center internships are comprised of internship placement, an academic course and the Leadership Forum. All students are enrolled in a particular program according to their area of interest. Each program focuses learning on concepts closely related to students’ intended professional fields. Activities and special programming, such as panels or tours of embassies or businesses, are tailored to the program’s core learning objectives and areas of study.
For more information on the program, visit Washington Center or contact Dr. Taylor at 918-343-7624 or [email protected].