Accepting Summer Internship Applications!

Published in Announcements, People in Preservation.

Elizabeth Howland Smith Internship 

The Providence Preservation Society welcomes student interest in the Elizabeth Howland Smith Internship Program during the summer of 2024. This paid internship provides career exploration for curious students who hold identity(ies) traditionally excluded from or underrepresented in preservation, museum, and heritage careers. Students will explore key areas of our operations such as advocacy, architectural history, public engagement, communications, and/or nonprofit administration. Candidates are not required to have previous interest or experience in preservation or related disciplines.

Interns play an important role in advancing one or more areas of PPS’s mission. Interns will work closely with staff and devote approximately half their time to training, participation in daily operations, and general contributions to ongoing work at PPS. The remainder of their time will be devoted to work on an independent project, to be developed in consultation with their supervisor. Ongoing career mentorship is woven throughout the internship experience. Successful interns will possess strong writing and communication skills, an enthusiasm for making history accessible to the public, intellectual curiosity, and good humor.

There is an opportunity for this internship to be offered in a hybrid format, with emphasis on in-person hours in the PPS office. Interns can expect to interact with members of the public and PPS’s professional community. As part of the internship, students will produce one piece of substantive writing (report, blog post, presentation, etc.).

Internship Areas

PPS offers internship experience in the following areas. Our needs vary from year to year, and each intern’s scope of work will be refined in consultation with staff.


Programs & Events


How to Apply

This internship is open to rising high school seniors and college students who have not yet begun their junior year. Applicants must:

Time Commitment & Compensation
Interns work a minimum of 20 hours per week at a rate of $15.00/hour. Occasional weekend and evening hours may be required. Holidays and other time off are not paid. Housing is not provided. The 10-week internship typically begins the second week of June and ends in late August, with exact dates to be determined at time of offer.

Applicants must be rising high school seniors, rising college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. A complete application consists of:

Please send all materials in a single PDF to Applications are due by 8:00 AM on April 3. PPS is an equal opportunity employer.

About PPS

Founded in 1956, The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) works to support and advocate for historic preservation, thoughtful design, and people-centered planning. PPS is one of the nation’s oldest preservation organizations and is supported, in part, by 500 local and regional members. Over more than 60 years, PPS has accomplished its mission through education and advocacy and has established itself as a leader in citywide planning and preservation. For more information about PPS, visit

About Elizabeth H. Smith

Elizabeth Howland Smith (ca. 1822-1898) served as the beating heart of the Meeting Street Primary School for nearly 50 years, first as the school’s assistant in her teens and eventually advancing to the position of principal. She was a revered figure in her community – the first Black woman public school teacher in Providence and an active participant in civic life – and personally guided generations of students of color through their education. Under Elizabeth Smith’s leadership, the Meeting Street Primary School became one of the most respected schools in Rhode Island. The school was an invaluable resource for Black families in 19th-century Providence, a source of community pride and social advancement, and Smith was its champion.

From her fight for civil rights to her charitable endeavors, Smith uplifted Rhode Islanders who faced obstacles to education, opportunities, and meaningful work. And despite her long and accomplished career as an educator, she died penniless and alone and her legacy has been almost completely forgotten. In naming our paid internship program after Elizabeth H. Smith — who led the schoolhouse that PPS now calls its headquarters — we hope to call attention to her lifetime of educational service and restore some piece of her legacy.

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