Develop your skills at North River Commission with a hands-on, high-impact, and high-responsibility internship. Our internships are ideal opportunities for ambitious and motivated individuals looking for cross-disciplinary experience in development.

North River Commission is the nonprofit community and economic development organization for the Northwest Side of Chicago, from the Chicago River to Cicero and Addison to Devon. Founded in 1962 by residents and neighborhood institutions, North River Commission unites over 100 civic associations, businesses, schools, institutions, and places of worship with a mission to improve the quality of life in our community by developing affordable housing, quality education, environmental sustainability, open spaces, arts & cultural endeavors, and thriving neighborhood businesses.

Typically, North River Commission has 2-5 interns at a time. Internships are either by semester, Fall, Spring and Summer, or by project.

  1. Semester interns can serve for one or more semesters and will agree on a weekly work schedule with their staff lead.
  2. Project interns will establish a plan including duration and deliverables with the lead staff for that project.

Positions Available

Affordable Housing
  • outreach to area landlords to inform them of energy efficiency programs to help preserve existing affordable units
  • update apartment vacancy database and research other affordable housing programs for local landlords
  • tenant relations with low-income seniors at Mayfair Commons and building staff
Arts & Culture
  • assist organizer with research, outreach, meeting facilitation, and follow-up to local artists, community groups, organizations, and institutions involved in arts and cultural work
  • assist with publishing a monthly arts and cultural newsletter
  • assist with creating and managing arts and cultural events with local partners

Media Relations

  • assistance in crafting North River Commission's story of community work and stakeholders
  • acquiring media coverage for our stories
  • strategizing on how best to utilize communication tools

Social Media

  • publish to the website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email updates to communicate with stakeholders and the public
  • building out and maintaining the NRC website on NeonCRM
  • strategizing on how best to utilize communication tools and craft our story

Video Storytelling

  • produce video stories about NRC's impact in the community and stakeholders
  • strategize on how best to utilize video stories for different audiences and purposes
Community Planning
  • assist Executive Director with all aspects of community engagement
  • strategize meetings large and small on areas of interest
  • conduct visioning and planning with staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders
Economic Development
  • consultations with business owners regarding growth and assistance
  • research development projects including outreach to elected officials, city departments, and developers
  • outreach and research on retail rental availability and rates, pre-development for specific parcels
  • assist Education Coordination in supporting youth council, including recruiting, facilitating meetings, and project development and implementation
  • organize to empower Local School Councils in improving education at local CPS schools
  • assist Education Committee with the promotion of neighborhood schools 
  • conduct outreach to Local School Councils and "Friends Of" groups at schools in North River Commission's service area to learn current school needs or upcoming projects that North River Commission could assist with
  • attend, virtually or in-person, Local School Council and/or "Friends Of" meetings at local schools as a North River Commission representative and update the Education team with key meeting discussion points and brainstorm community initiatives based on school needs
  • assist community organizer with research, outreach, meeting facilitation, and follow-up to community groups, government agencies, and local institutions involved in environmental work
  • research ongoing and upcoming environmental initiatives that overlap with NRC’s mission and service area
  • assist with facilitating local volunteer stewardship and recreation opportunities


Hours per week
  • Summer Semester: 16 hours/week minimum, 7 weeks or more
  • Fall and Spring Semesters: 8 hours/week minimum, 10 weeks or more per semester
  • Project based internships: 8 hours/week minimum, 4 weeks or more
  • Interns should be current students in college, graduate school, or high school
  • Recent graduates will also be considered


Selection Process

North River Commission partners with area colleges and high schools, as well as internship programs. Individuals can contact us directly, starting with the Internship Interest form. Click here. Provide a resume and basic contact information. A staff member will contact you.

Project internships will be posted with an application deadline.

Selections of semester internships are made on a rolling basis until internships are filled. We recommend the following dates as guides. We encourage you to let us know about your interest, even if the date below has passed.

  • Summer: contact us after February 1st and before April 1st
  • Fall: contact us before August 15th
  • Spring: contact us  before November 15th