Internship Placement Program- NPS

This year CorpsTHAT (CTHAT) partnered with American YouthWorks’s Texas Conservation Corps (TXCC) and the National Parks Service to place five individual interns at National Parks across Texas. With the support of funding from the National Parks Foundation, three interns were placed at San Antonio National Historical Park (SAAN) to work with their Resource Management and Interpretive Departments and two interns were placed with Big Thicket National Preserve’s (BITH) Interpretive Department. These interns helped with daily tasks within their departments, learned about their Park and the NPS as a whole and worked with fellow staff to host ASL Community days that showcased their parks and provided direct communication access to the local Deaf Community.


From this inaugural program 5 Deaf individuals were able to develop their job experience while gaining more access to potential career opportunities within the National Park Service and the outdoor field. Through the Texas Conservation Corps the interns were AmeriCorps members and eligible at the end of their term for the Segal Education Award. Thanks to the partnership between TXCC and CTHAT the interns had access to this internship opportunity and were supported by a Deaf centered organization having access to direct communication throughout their program.

Summary of Accomplishments

  • 5 interns provided outreach and education:
  • 13 dragonfly larvae collected
  • 4.75 miles surveyed for resource management research
  • 36 Deaf visitors served (ASL fishing, paddle, community day) 
  • 200 visitors provided outreach at Beaumount’s Gay Pride festival
  • 3  ASL community events hosted
    • 1 ASL  Fishing Day; 35 signing anglers served
    • 1 ASL Community Paddle Trip; 10 Deaf paddlers served
    • 1 ASL Community Park Day; 15 Deaf and signing visitors served
  • 117 paddlers served
  • 2000+ Photos taken for marketing and social media purposes
  • 3 mentorship and networking sessions with Deaf and signing National Park Service employees 
  • 4 acres of land improved
  • .5 miles of trail improved
  • 6 feet of waterway or shoreline improved
  • 1 structures maintained


Big Thicket National Preserve- Interpretive Department 

The interns worked closely with the Interpretive Department to document the nature, visitor’s experience and conservation projects the resource management team was working on. The interns connected with the local Deaf community and worked hard to plan and host ASL paddle events and an ASL fishing day. The interns took over 2,000 photos documenting the park and their experience. They also helped the resource management team with mussel surveys, dragonfly larvae collection, bat health surveys, and archaeological soil testing.  This summer they hiked over 34 miles in the park for nature programs, to take photos and to help with the conservation surveys.  



San Antonio National Historical Park- Resource Management and Interpretive Department  

Starting their term out with the Resource Management Department, the interns worked to manage and clean up the park’s grounds using leaf blowers, weed wackers, loppers, stump grinders and wood chippers.  They also removed invasive species by pulling the plants and using chemical herbicides.  Midway through the program they moved more inside working with the Interpretive Department where they worked on various projects, welcomed visitors at the the visitor center and planned and hosted a ASL Community Day where they gave historical tours and shared their knowledge about the park’s plants and animals.

“This internship was a rich and important experience…I felt touched by the people in the deaf community and hearing community. In my lessons about the San Jose Mission’s history using ASL, the deaf people gained a deeper understanding of the history behind the mission. There were deaf people who felt excited and aware that there was still a lot to do to support the natural park mission in San Antonio.”

-Joline Durand, SAAN Intern

“I’m genuinely impressed by the program’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, particularly for the Deaf community. The emphasis on interactive learning and practical experiences has been a highlight, and the program’s openness to feedback reflects its dedication to improvement. Looking ahead, I’m excited about the potential for growth and impact, as the program continues to create valuable skills and connections. Overall, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of this journey and look forward to its ongoing success in fostering learning, diversity, and positive change.” 

– Taylor Nguyen, SAAN Intern

This program was made possible in thanks to our partnership with American Youth Works- Texas Conservation Corps, with a grant from the National Park Foundation and the support of our National Park Placement sites: Big Thicket National Preserve and San Antonio Missions Historical Park

Learn more about our San Antonio Missions Historical Park interns: click play