Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.
  • Preservation intern Cynthia BrzostowskiPreservation intern Cynthia Brzostowski
  • Norris White, preservation fellow, in the fieldNorris White, preservation fellow, in the field
  • Diversity interns gain hands on experienceDiversity interns gain hands on experience
  • Sehila Casper in the field at the Zion Cemetery in Hilton Head Island, SCSehila Casper in the field at the Zion Cemetery in Hilton Head Island, SC
  • 2013 THC Diversity Interns, Sehila Casper and Joel Zapata2013 THC Diversity Interns, Sehila Casper and Joel Zapata

The Preservation Scholars Program

Through the Preservation Scholars Program, the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission seeks to build interest in historic preservation among students from underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, engaging a wider range of communities and perspectives in the effort to discover and share Texas’ historical narrative.

Launched in 2007, the program offers a 10-week, paid, summer internship within the Texas Historical Commission (THC). Internships are available to college students from Texas or studying to receive their undergraduate or graduate degree at a Texas college or university. Over the course of the internship, students work under the supervision of THC staff at the agency's headquarters in Austin and/or in the field at historic sites to complete a project of their choosing. Select internship projects allow the option for remote participation in the program. Students meet with staff in each of the THC's divisions and attend weekly "Brown Bag Presentations" with outside preservation organizations to learn about the preservation work happening across the state. 

The THC is able to offer students unique opportunities because of the agency’s broad scope of work within the field of historic preservation. Agency staff range from economists and community planners, to marine archeologists, military historians, and graphic designers. Students gain exposure to exciting opportunities in the fields of architecture, archaeology, downtown revitalization, communications, heritage tourism, and more.

Education is central to the projects and programs the Friends of the Texas Historic Commission supports. Today’s students are tomorrow’s preservationists, and making sure that there is a workforce of passionate individuals is vital to the future study of our shared past. The Preservation Scholars Program offers the THC the opportunity to engage students in the agency’s important work – whether it’s a focus on the economic impact of preserving a rural community’s heritage, building the digital presence of State Historic Sites, or assisting regional organizations with cemetery preservation.

The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is honored to have the support of the Still Water Foundation, the Fondren Fund for Texas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Robert Oliver for the 2022 Preservation Scholars Program. 

Program Goals

  • Increase the representation of all cultural and ethnic groups in historic preservation careers
  • Increase the number of historic and cultural resources associated with the state’s diverse history
  • Increase the number of diverse organizations and communities involved in the field of historic preservation

The application period for summer 2022 has closed. Learn more about the program and eligibility here