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Published 05/18/2020 | Reading Time 5 min 3 sec 

TULSA, Okla. — The City of Tulsa, George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) and TYPROS recently launched SummerTulsa, an initiative that provides professional, civic and social engagement opportunities for college students. The program begins June 2020 and offers incoming college juniors and seniors the opportunity to connect with and learn from local entrepreneurs and business and community leaders who are putting Tulsa on the map for culture and innovation.  

“Due to the current economic climate and social distancing practices, many college students in Oklahoma have lost internship opportunities that they worked hard to secure,” said Brandon Oldham, program officer at George Kaiser Family Foundation. “Internships are critical for college students, especially juniors and seniors, in choosing a career path and opening doors for post-graduate employment, and we’re focused on highlighting those opportunities in Tulsa.”   

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SummerTulsa will kick off with two landmark programs: SummerTulsa Impact Academy and SummerTulsa Night Series. 

SummerTulsa Impact Academy is a paid full-time, nine-week program for 25 rising college juniors and seniors, designed to replace an internship experience. SummerTulsa Impact Academy will work with The Mine, a social innovation fellowship for young professionals at The Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth at The University of Oklahoma, as an operating partner. The cohort will be divided into project teams to confront local issues.

“The SummerTulsa Impact Academy is a challenge-based program, meaning we are pushing students to define a problem, conduct primary research, and then design and test solutions that we can actually implement in the community,” said Ashley Philippsen, deputy chief of community development and policy for the City of Tulsa. “In addition to developing short-term strategies in response to COVID, our team is excited for interns to help us think through long-term possibilities for a more resilient city.”

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“The SummerTulsa Night Series is focused on critical soft skills that aren’t always taught in the classroom. We are training interns how to network, present themselves professionally online and make connections that will open doors for employment following graduation—all in a fun and interactive way. More importantly, we are helping them make those connections right here in Tulsa so interns are well-positioned and excited to take positions here after they graduate,” said Andrea Pemberton, executive director of TYPROS.

The SummerTulsa initiative is part of larger efforts by the City of Tulsa, GKFF and the Tulsa Regional Chamber to recruit and retain college graduates and young professionals to Tulsa, deepening the talent pool and creating economic and cultural vibrancy.

Both SummerTulsa programs begin on June 1, 2020. Students can apply at The deadline to apply is May 22, 2020.

About SummerTulsa

SummerTulsa is an initiative of the City of Tulsa, George Kaiser Family Foundation and TYPROS that provides professional, civic and social engagement opportunities for college students. The program offers incoming college juniors and seniors the opportunity  to connect with and learn from local entrepreneurs, philanthropists and politicians who are putting Tulsa on the map for tech, culture and innovation. For more information, visit

About the George Kaiser Family Foundation 

George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is a charitable organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancement. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, GKFF works primarily on initiatives developed in collaboration with Tulsa-based direct service organizations. For more information about George Kaiser Family Foundation, visit


An initiative of the Tulsa Regional Chamber since April 2005, TYPROS’ mission is to attract and retain young, creative talent to the Tulsa region, develop the next generation of leaders and enhance Tulsa’s sense of place.

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...