The SEPA Program
The SEPA program is designed to increase Austin College student engagement in the local community and collaboration with local nonprofit agencies.
SEPA focuses on engaging students in community development through grant writing as an entrepreneurial endeavor, teaching technical aspects of grant writing and providing hands-on grant writing experience with a local nonprofit agency over the summer.
Alisa White was a delight. She was always eager to learn and do. Nothing seemed to daunt her. No matter what I threw her way, she caught it with a smile and was challenged to complete with excellence. Alisa helped me in numerous ways this year. Each time I have an intern, I personally benefit… [Read More]
Helen Nguyen ’21
I loved this project. I learned so much about the non-profit world. Talking with friends from Dallas, I discovered that one of my friends is starting a company to address mental health concerns in certain countries in Asia. After hearing that I was interning for the Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Centers, he contacted me about possibly… [Read More]
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Tory Heruska was an ideal representative of Austin College SEPA. She seeks structure, has initiative, and aims to exceed the expectations set before her. I felt that our weekly debriefs offered transparency and higher-level analysis of her growth and progression through the intern experience. — Dr. Delene Rawls, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Sherman Symphony Orchestra
“The SEPA Program is invaluable to our organization. We are a very small non-profit with very limited staff. Without the help of our SEPA interns in the summer, we would not be able to have the time to research and apply for as many grants as we do. This is so vital to the financial… [Read More]
Esmeralda Alejo ’20
“As a more reserved and independent individual, being exposed to office/workplace culture was beneficial in getting me more comfortable with networking, asking questions, and taking the initiative to do things like schedule meetings with different staff individuals to get a feel for what they do, how they can be of help to me and how… [Read More]
Benjamin Pickens ’16
I graduated from Austin College in 2016 with a Major in Economics. I went on to attend Miami University and received a Master’s in Economics degree in 2017. I look back to my four years at Austin College with great fondness, not only for the connections I made along the way in my classmates and… [Read More]
SEPA Program Accolades
- interns have raised more than $1.1 million for area nonprofits since the program’s inception in 2013
- earned a 2013 NADO Innovation Award
- recognized by Borgen Magazine as a college program committed to making a difference in the fight against global poverty
- recognized by the City of Denison, Texas, as the 2015 Partnership of the Year
- has been supported in the past by generous grants from Texoma Health Foundation, the Elias & Hanna Regensburger Foundation and the Munson Foundation
Funding Information Network Partner
Austin College serves as a Funding Information Network Partner of The Foundation Center and provides a wide range of services to help those involved in preparing grants to source and solicit funds from foundations.
STUDENTS must complete an Internship Application which will be available beginning January 15 each year. The student application period for 2023 Summer Internships is open until April 1, 2023. Intern selections and match assignments will be announced by April 10. Interns’ training fees and summer stipend are covered by the College.
NONPROFIT organizations are required to complete the SEPA Nonprofit Agency Application which will be available beginning February 15 each year. The application period ends April 1. In order to be considered for the SEPA program agencies must certify that if selected they will:
- send the agency employee who will be the intern’s direct supervisor to the two-day grant writing workshop (late May/early June), the cost of which is free to SEPA agencies
- provide intern with outstanding experiential learning opportunities addressing important local social and economic issues
- meet with their intern at least weekly, understanding that the opportunity is wasted if an intern is unable to get the information necessary to complete grant applications
Failure to comply may result in future consideration for agency participation. Nonprofit agencies will be chosen that best match student interest. The number of agency/student pairs is determined by annual funding through grants.
Austin College students, please contact Nate Bigelow at 903.813.2589 for more information. All others, please email SEPA@austincollege.edu.