Smart Community Corps 2023

April 24, 2023, 11:04am EDT

Smart Community Corps 2023

The Smart Community Corps (SCC) is a summer internship program across Georgia and the South that provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable experience by working on real-world problems in a community setting. This program is the first of its kind in the state and is designed for civic-minded students who want to improve the lives of residents by engaging in public innovation or civic technology projects. The SCC is aimed at positioning Georgia as a leader in innovation, opportunity, and shared economic success.

The SCC summer internship is a signature program of the Partnership that engages public or community sector organizations and public-private collaboratives as internship host sites for students enrolled in all levels of higher education. SCC interns work as a summer cohort and are typically paired with another intern to support innovation projects across Georgia and the U.S. The interns receive a competitive summer stipend and have access to curriculum programming in sustainability, innovation, career development, and mentorship. The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students from public or private universities.

The SCC 2023 cohort is working with community host sites across the state of Georgia and South. This year’s community host sites represent 36 projects working with local governments, non-profits, colleges/universities, faculty researchers, entrepreneurial support organizations, and small businesses across 16 cities. New this year, the SCC has expanded out of Georgia into the communities of Charlotte, North Carolina and Washington, DC.

Approximately 65 student interns make up the SCC 2023 cohort. Interns come from 24 colleges/universities and originate from 6 states and 12 countries. Most of this diverse group (92%) fall into at least one underrepresented category including age, country of origin, gender, race, and socioeconomic status, to name a few.

Community host site recruitment and applications for SCC 2024 projects opens in September 2023 and recruitment for higher education student interns begins January 2024. Contact the Partnership’s Student Engagement Manager, Cody M. Cocchi, at to find out how to participate as a community host site or as an intern.

Project Examples

Reimagine Public-Private Partnerships

City of Atlanta | Mayor Andre Dickens | Mayor’s Office

Mayor Andre Dickens has set a goal of building 20,000 units of affordable housing, closing racial equity gaps, and making Atlanta the best city to raise a child by 2030. The interns will work with the policy team to reorganize the city’s approach to strategic partnerships and build technology solutions to improve consistency. The project aims to aid the housing, youth, and place-based goals set by the mayor, with the help of the SCC interns.

Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services: Reimagining the External Engagement Strategy

City of Atlanta | Mayor Andre Dickens | Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services

The Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services collaborates with constituents to address issues and identify resources. SCC interns will work on a proactive approach to outreach, feedback, and issue resolution using quadrants of Atlanta’s population. The project aims to develop a data lens and a communication strategy to engage with constituents where they are.

XR Education & Innovation Labs

The College of Coastal Georgia is developing a virtual reality educational experience, an escape room game, aimed at high school and early college students. SCC interns will conduct community research to improve product design and increase student engagement, ultimately contributing to Georgia’s economic and workforce development through virtual reality learning.

Virtual Reality Career Exploration Workshops

READI Consulting is developing tuition-free workforce training workshops using virtual reality to provide underserved youth with career exploration experience. SCC Interns will gain experience in VR technology, program management, and data collection while engaging with a social enterprise. The project aims to reduce youth unemployment and engage communities.

StartUP Columbus, Inc.

StartUP Columbus is launching a program called SURE to support entrepreneurs. The program involves retail entrepreneurship training and a 12-month lease in retail incubation space. SCC interns will work with the Director of StartUP Columbus to select participants, coordinate with community leaders, and work with organizations focused on the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The project aims to support local entrepreneurs, reduce barriers to entry, and educate the community.

Map of Georgia host sites

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