Youth Outreach, Engagement and Education, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots - Internship Program

Location:  Washington Metro Area - Vienna (Tyson’s Corners), VA
Status: Open
Due Dates: October 1, 2013 for Spring 2014 program, February 1, 2014 for Summer 2014 program, June 1, 2013 for Fall 2014 program

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is currently seeking applications for internships. Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program provides young people with the knowledge, tools and hopeful inspiration to improve the environment and the quality of life for people and animals. Connected through a dynamic online network, Roots & Shoots members have come from more than 120 countries and through their projects have completed more than 3,500 projects to improve their communities.

JGI staff strive to make internship experiences valuable and meaningful for both the student and the organization. Over the course of a semester-long experience, interns work independently and collaboratively on an array of projects that are set up to meet their personal goals, interests and strengths. Our goal is to provide students the experience and knowledge to advance both their academic and professional careers.

Below are possible areas of work for interns with Roots & Shoots:

Writing and Online Journalism

The basis of communication with the Roots & Shoots network is through our vibrant and dynamic website Creating content that’s meaningful for our membership, and reporting on the impacts of their projects is important for attracting new members, and maintaining current membership. Interns in this focus can expect to write two to three articles per week, regularly write copy for enewsletter and eblast communications with the Roots & Shoots network and work collaboratively to edit and polish writing style and form.

Graphic Design and New Media

In today’s world, visuals are key to catching and maintaining people’s interest. For nonprofit organizations visuals are even more important as we’re competing for attention with a vast diversity of causes and charities that individuals can support. Interns who work in this area will help create logos/graphic identity for Institute initiatives such as the upcoming Roots & Shoots Help A Habitat campaign, graphics for web pages, e-newsletters, e-blasts and print materials for events such as Dr. Goodall’s North America Tour.

Social Media

The social media landscape is constantly evolving. Interns who work in this area will help support the Institute’s efforts to distribute content and engage users on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and new platforms like Pinterest. In addition, interns will also help gather analytics on efficiency and engagement in the Institute’s social media efforts, as well as growth and reach in subscribership.

Education - Curriculum and Resource Management

The Roots & Shoots program serves a wide variety of audiences and communities. Ensuring that each of these constituencies has the resources they need to excel is critical to program success. Interns who work on projects in this area will update current resources, adapt them to specific audience groups and create new resources. Examples of resources include the Roots & Shoots Environmental Service Learning curriculum, project planning resources, and developing activities for the upcoming Help A Habitat campaign.

Outreach and Community Relations

Outreach and Community Relations is critical to maintaining the network and continuing to support growth. Outreach happens in many different facets, including collaborations with other like-minded organizations. Interns who work in this area will support efforts to engage organizations and potential funders in meaningful and beneficial ways to both parties- drawing attention to the Roots & Shoots program and highlighting ways youth, community leaders and educators can get involved.

Member Engagement and Support

The Roots & Shoots online network is full of members with diverse support needs and requests. Ensuring that their needs are met to the best of our ability is crucial to maintaining their involvement in Roots & Shoots work, their community, and with JGI as an organization. Interns who work on projects in this area will interface directly with members supporting their efforts on the ground, answering questions and interacting directly with members to ensure their success.

Member Data and Analytics

Keeping close track of the impact of the Roots & Shoots network, and the distribution of groups is important for our communications efforts both within the network itself, as well as with our other constituencies such as donors and the media. This data is also helpful for strategic planning and making decisions on where to place emphasis in our ongoing efforts to support the network and grow. Interns who work on projects in this area will focus on data management and preparation of reports for various audiences on the scope of the Roots & Shoots network, and our ongoing impact in communities across the United States and around the world.

Feedback from previous interns:

Interning at the Jane Goodall Institute gave me an opportunity to enjoy and gain valuable work experience with the amazing Roots & Shoots team members across the country. With my passion for helping others and the environment, the internship was a great fit for pursuing my career goals while still attending school. - Brian Fischer, University of California-Riverside

Being an intern the Jane Goodall Institute truly has been a wonderful learning and growing experience. I am so fortunate to have been able to spend my summer coming into the office and working with amazing people every day. I believe in the projects I was working on, and have learned skills that will help me in my future. - Maddy Carretero, Elon University

My time at the Jane Goodall Institute was a great experience. I appreciated it most because it gave me the opportunity to not only do substantive work but also to engage with people and know that the work that I was doing positively impacted people's lives. - David Henry, The College of William and Mary

Ideal Candidates for an Internship at JGI will:

  • Be enrolled or have graduated from an accredited University;
  • Have an interest in engaging youth to improve their local environment and the quality of life for people and animals;
  • Have excellent writing and interpersonal skills, along with the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously with a high level of attention to detail;
  • Enjoy meeting and talking with members/colleagues and responding to inquiries in a positive manner through email messages and phone calls; and
  • Be able to work independently and as a part of a team, including with other team members who work remotely.


Work will be based out of the JGI-USA headquarters in Vienna, Va. though telecommuting is an option for some work areas, especially for interns who may be located outside of the metro Washington, D.C. area.

Hours and Schedule

Internships with the Roots & Shoots program vary depending on scheduling and scope of involvement. Full time internships, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday are encouraged, but flexibility is available for exact times of day, and amount of hours per week. A minimum of 10 hours per week for three months is required.

Supervision / Mentoring

JGI staff work collaboratively in teams, and on independent projects. Interns are a part of the Roots & Shoots team and responsible for completing tasks based on project goals and deadlines. A team member will be assigned to each intern as a mentor for the duration of their experience with JGI to ensure that they have all of the resources they need, and that the experience is as valuable as possible for both the intern, and for JGI.


The position is unpaid, but academic credit can be arranged. With an internship program focused on independent study and work, intern experiences with Roots & Shoots generally serve well in university course systems, and many schools welcome students to use their experience as an opportunity to earn credit toward their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Interns who work from the JGI-USA headquarters office in the Washington-Metro area can be reimbursed $50/month for public transportation.

Other Notes/Application Details

Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

JGI staff empower interns to participate on many levels in a friendly, productive, team-based work environment.

Complete this form, and send a cover letter, resume to Shawn Sweeney at In addition, so that we may get an idea of your writing style, please write 350 - 500 words on a problem in the world that you are passionate about, and a recommendation for solving it. You may attach this writing sample to the same email as your cover letter and resume.


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