Advancing Oakland

Applebaum Family Philanthropy Partners with OU to Launch New Internship Program

The Applebaum Fellows Program connects Oakland University Honors College students with the city of Pontiac to find solutions to real-world problems

A group of people standing outside

The Honors College

icon of a calendarNovember 4, 2022

icon of a pencilBy Noor Hindi

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A generous gift from the Applebaum Family Philanthropy is preparing a new generation of Oakland University students to become change agents in our communities.

The gift launched the Applebaum Fellows Program, a partnership between the OU Honors College and community organizations in the city of Pontiac, which provides students with meaningful internship opportunities to advance their education while making a positive impact in the communities where they live and work.

The program includes an independent study course, featuring mentors and speaker presentations, that prepares students for successful internship experiences. As Applebaum Fellows, the students spend their summer semester working alongside community organizations in the city of Pontiac to solve problems and build meaningful and sustainable solutions that impact city residents.

Applebaum Fellows are grateful for the opportunity to expand their learning beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. They bring a wide variety of career interests to their internship partners including health care, communications, grant management, community outreach and more. Once partnered with a local nonprofit, they use these specialized skills to engage and respond to community needs through thoughtful projects. More than a traditional volunteer opportunity or internship, this program benefits both students and community partners alike while promoting civic responsibility and engagement.

Oakland University is proud to be the academic host of an Applebaum Fellows Program and looks forward to further deepening its relationship with the city of Pontiac in the coming years. More than neighbors by geographic proximity, the university, the city of Pontiac, and its residents have a collective mission and a shared future. The OU-Pontiac Initiative was founded to foster a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between OU and the city of Pontiac and is home to programming and experiential learning opportunities in key areas like PK-16 education, civic engagement, economic and workforce development, health care and wellness, arts and culture, and building capacity for non-profits and neighborhoods.

The Applebaum Fellows Program is the next step in building a more united and vibrant future for both OU and the city of Pontiac.

Applebaum Family Philanthropy

Applebaum Family Philanthropy’s funding this innovative program will provide scholarships to cover the tuition associated with the independent study course taken by the student interns. The impact of this support, however, extends well beyond the summer months. Student participants receive hands-on training on how to effectively channel their leadership and civic energy into their communities, and the service projects they take on will blossom in the City of Pontiac for years to come.

Applebaum Family Philanthropy, which is inspired by the extraordinary legacy of Eugene Applebaum, is committed to providing unique and invaluable opportunities that will inspire and promote leadership, entrepreneurship and well-being in the communities it serves.

“Providing young people with a first opportunity is at the very core of our mission. We are thrilled to be partnering with Oakland University to help these students translate their studies & passions into direct community impact, while advancing their leadership skills for their future.” – Pamela Applebaum

The first cohort of Applebaum Fellows completed their service projects in the summer of 2022. For more information contact Kelly Brault at [email protected].

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