Internship Program

Each year, between 5 and 15 graduate students intern with our CDF-Texas offices. While our internships seek to give preference to certain majors, anyone with a strong interest in child advocacy is encouraged to apply. CDF interns gain knowledge, skills, and experience for a lifetime commitment as a child advocate and public policy leader. Students also get an insider view of the way non-profit organizations work. Many former interns, some now famous international policy leaders, remain active in CDF's mission long after their internships end.

Learn more about our different internship programs below.


Serious inquiries are considered on a rolling basis and coincide with the academic calendar.

Internships typically last 8-12 weeks. Some interns stay longer or leave earlier.

There are no set start or end dates to internships.

Term For Best Consideration
Apply By
Summer March 15
Fall July 15
Spring November 15
Application Guidelines

To apply for one of our Austin- or Houston-based internships, please send an email with the items listed below to the appropriate internship coordinator.

In the subject line of your message, please indicate the specific internship (ex: POLICY INTERNSHIP or OUTREACH INTERNSHIP) for which you are applying.

1. Cover Letter
The cover letter should address:

  • why you wish to intern at CDF
  • skills, knowledge (including relevant course work) and work experience
  • experience (including research) relevant to an internship at CDF
  • experience in or passion for nonprofit advocacy
  • your immediate post-internship plans as well as longer term academic/career goals
  • what you hope to gain from your internship experience

2. Resume

3. Writing Sample (no longer than 2,500 words)
Sample should demonstrate writing and reasoning skills.  It may be a paper completed for a class assignment.

Financial Support

Our internships are typically unpaid, though small stipends may at times be available.

Applicants in need of financial aid to support their internship are encouraged to explore potential funding sources through career services or alumni offices on their university campus. Many colleges offer scholarships, stipends, or off-campus work-study to facilitate participation in public interest internships.  It is wise to begin your search for an internship as early as possible if finances are a concern.

Health Outreach Internship (Houston)

Rolling deadline, coincides with academic calendar.

Location: Houston
Dates: Summer, Fall, and Spring (20 hrs per week)

Organization Background:

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

For more than 15 years, CDF-Texas has been a leader for Texas children who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves.  We have connected more than one million Texas children to affordable health care coverage, helped Texas youth who Beat the Odds have the opportunity to attend college, and ensured that thousands of Texas school children, young adult leaders, and parents benefit from enriching out of school time opportunities that stem the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.

Program Description:

CDF-Texas is committed to raising awareness about the needs of Texas children, connecting children and families to stabilizing resources, and working with partners statewide to coordinate broad support for legislative action on their behalf. The CDF All Healthy Children campaign believes that to ensure a Healthy Start for Texas children, every child must have access to affordable, comprehensive health and mental health coverage and the care they need to grow and thrive.

Collaborating with schools, businesses, media and community partners, we educate and raise awareness about affordable coverage options through CHIP, Children's Medicaid and the Marketplace, and help families apply. Our efforts to Connect Kids to Coverage have been recognized nationally and internationally and we welcome new opportunities and partnerships to reduce the number of uninsured children and families in our "highest uninsured" state of Texas.

Position Description:

The CDF-Texas Health Outreach Intern will learn firsthand how community programs are effectively planned, executed, and evaluated.  The intern reports to the Outreach Program Director and works closely with the health outreach team to attend outreach events, prepare materials, and provide important information to the community about children’s health coverage.  Training will be provided.


  • Coordinates with area agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions for health outreach events.
  • Assists in preparing and designing health outreach materials for events.
  • Works in coordination with the health outreach team to represent CDF-Texas within the community.
  • Determines appropriate locations for distribution of materials for children’s health coverage.
  • Provides application assistance to families with uninsured children.
  • Collects data and generate reports on health outreach activities.


  • Interest in Social Work, Social Services or Public Health
  • Ability to speak confidently before a crowd
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English) a plus
  • Professional demeanor and the ability to work well with fellow staff, volunteers, and the public is of utmost importance
  • Must be organized and have reliable transportation
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week between the hours of 9 A.M. - 5 P.M. on weekdays.  Occasional evenings and weekends may be required.

The intent of this internship description is to provide a representative summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by the intern.  Interns may be asked to perform tasks other than those specifically described.

Application Instructions:

To apply, candidates should email a one-page cover letter describing their interest and qualifications, and a resume to: and type OUTREACH INTERN in the subject line.

Health Policy Internship (Austin)

Rolling deadline, coincides with academic calendar.

Location: Austin
Dates: Summer, Fall, and Spring (20 hrs per week)

Description: The Health Care Policy Internship is based in Austin and provides general support for the CDF-Texas policy division. The intern works 20 hours per week, and provides substantive research, compiles reports, monitors interim legislative committees and helps with the execution of advocacy-related activities, including advocate training/recruitment, story collection, public education, legislator visits, legislative briefings, and other policy division projects.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Advocate outreach and recruitment
  • Policy research, briefs and training material
  • Conducts research on public policy, media trends and other subjects as needed
  • Assists in the development and execution of special projects
  • Perform other division, department, and organization-wide special projects as needed and assigned
  • Assist and contribute to CDF’s social media platforms
  • Evenings and occasional weekend activity is required, consistent with policy support for a leading national not-for-profit organization

Job Requirements:

  • Ability to work effectively and calmly in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, and ability to multi-task
  • Strong organizational and execution skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Commitment to social advocacy and CDF’s mission to be a voice for all children
  • Ability to organize facts and present issues in a clear, concise and logical manner, both orally and in writing
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to interact diplomatically and professionally with CDF staff and external partners/contacts
  • Strong computer, Internet and research skills

Application Instructions:

To apply, candidates should email a one-page cover letter describing interest and qualifications, with resume attached, to: and type POLICY INTERN in the email subject line.


Contact Information

For information about CDF-TX internships please contact:


Cheasty Anderson

For Austin Internships

WyKisha McKinney

For Houston Internships