Rutgers Launches Third Summer of Scarlet Service 

Scarlet Service 2024 Full Group with JSH
More than 150 Rutgers students will serve the public good in the summer of 2024 through Scarlet Service.
Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

Mariana Simpson, a Rutgers-New Brunswick sophomore, applied for a Scarlet Service internship because she believes that understanding all kinds of people will help her become a better health care provider in the future. 

As one of 153 Rutgers students chosen for paid internship experiences at government offices and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations this summer, the double major, enrolled in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, will serve as a community engagement intern with Public Health Solutions in New York City. 

“I hope to learn, to better understand anyone who doesn't look like me or come from the same background,” Simpson said at the kickoff event Monday for the third year of Scarlet Service. “I think that's key to not just being a better health care provider, but to being a better person. I want to be well-rounded.” 

Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway created the Rutgers Scarlet Service program so students gain hands-on experience addressing national issues while developing a better understanding of themselves and building relationships with others. The program is supported by the Rutgers University Foundation and has grown to provide opportunities to 153 students in 2024, with 129 working in and around the metropolitan area, and another 24 interning in Washington, D.C.  

“Whether you are headed to a nonprofit in your home county or starting an internship on Capitol Hill, each of you is part of the growth of Rutgers Scarlet Service – this idea of doing good for others as a way of life, starting with an internship and hopefully becoming something much more,” said Holloway, whose 2021 New York Times op-ed gave rise to the initiative. 

“These internships can help us heal divisions in a broken society, help each of you to better understand people who are different from you, deepen your sense of empathy, and help you to model for your friends and family the values of service and selflessness,” Holloway told the interns gathered at the College Avenue Student Center in New Brunswick. 

Alumnus Dave Cole (RC ’07), New Jersey’s chief innovation officer who served as president of the Rutgers College Governing Association as an undergraduate, encouraged students in a keynote address to develop and refine their perspective on making change, to be open to change as much as they seek to create it, and to build a record of competence in getting things done. 

“Figure out what you can do, maybe right in front of you, that nobody else is doing,” said Cole. “Get it done, learn from it, and then you'll have a lesson going forward. Eventually you will find reason to look back and draw from these experiences and make them relevant again.” 

Alumnus David Cole New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer Scarlet Service 2024
New Jersey Chief Innovation Officer Dave Cole (RC ’07) encouraged students to develop and refine their perspective on making change, to be open to change as much as they seek to create it, and to build a record of competence in getting things done.
Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

Scarlet Service establishes civic engagement as a critical component of higher education and forges a path toward appreciating each other’s differences, restoring civil discourse, and serving the common good. Participating students receive stipends and take related tuition-free, 3-credit courses. 

Under the direction of the Rutgers-Camden Career Center, Rutgers-New Brunswick Office of Career Exploration and Success, and Rutgers-Newark Career Resources and Exploration, students accepted earn a $5,000 stipend while interning for a minimum of 150 hours over 10-12 weeks.  

Rutgers-Camden Honors College student Alan Rozenblit intends to use his passion for biological research to support communities in need. A member of numerous STEM clubs on campus, he saw Scarlet Service as an opportunity to become more engaged and to gain hands-on experience. 

He will work as an environmental education intern at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, a rehabilitation hospital and nature center on the edge of the New Jersey Pinelands. 

“Being surrounded by nature is what excited me about the possibility,” said Rozenblit, who has experience as a summer camp counselor. “I hope to improve my public speaking and become more comfortable with others.” 

Scarlet Service 2024 Interns at Kickoff Event
Students gain experience addressing national issues including public health, infrastructure, education, and the environment while developing a better understanding of themselves and building relationships with others.
Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

Rutgers-Newark political science major Julie Jang applied to the Washington, D.C., internship program. Under the direction of the Rutgers Office of Federal Relations, it provides a $3,800 stipend for an internship with a minimum of 150 hours over nine weeks. 

She will work in New Jersey’s ninth legislative district under the leadership of Rep. Bill Pascrell.   

“I’ve worked a lot with nonprofits for a good amount of my life, so I wanted to see what the other side would look like in terms of policymaking,” Jang said. “I want to learn how constituents connect and how concerns get to Congress.” 

The Washington, D.C., program also provides complimentary housing in the district, enabling students to live, work and learn in the epicenter of American government, politics and public leadership.  

“I don't have any relatives or connections to the city at all,” Jang said. “So, this is an incredible opportunity that I would have just gone without.” 

Student Interview at 2024 Scarlet Service Kickoff
Students listened to guest speakers and keynote presentations, participated in speed networking and interviews, and took photos while being formally welcomed into the program on Monday.
Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University