Four Elizabeth City State University students are working at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services  this summer as part of the department’s Historically Black Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program. The 10-week, paid internship is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act Public Health Workforce Development Initiative.

As part of the internship, ECSU students – Angel Oxendine, Aniya Reed, Alaina Singleton and Zeasia Gupton – will be assigned a workload in a designated project area, as well as weekly seminars, presentation practice and a final immersion event. A total of 50 students and recent graduates are participating.

The NCDHHS manages the delivery of health- and human-related services for all North Carolinians and its divisions fall under six service areas — Health, Opportunity and Well-Being; Medicaid; Operational Excellence; Policy and Communications; and Health Equity, according to the website.

 Singleton ‘25 started her internship June 5 and said the experience has been rewarding.

 “I am currently working with the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) about Employee Research Groups (ERG) in the workplace and how they can benefit those who are in different spaces,” she said. “We are hoping to create a safe place for diverse groups to come together and connect to help benefit the DHHS as a whole. We’re working to connect with others and making our community a better place.”

 NCDHHS also oversees 14 facilities: developmental centers, neuro-medical treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers and two residential programs for children, according to the website.

 Organization leaders said it’s a priority to train the next generation of public health leaders.

 “With this internship program, NCDHHS makes a crucial workforce investment and builds upon our strong partnership with North Carolina’s HBCUs … to engage students in learning firsthand about public health and human services careers,” said Angela Bryant, NCDHHS Assistant Secretary for Equity and Inclusion in the Health Equity Portfolio.

 From L to R - Angel Oxendine, Aniya Reed, Alaina Singleton and Zeasia Gupton