Engaging High School Students and Employers in Meaningful Internship
Lisa Aslan and Allyson Shifley, The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action
Paid internships offered during high school are key to career exploration, diversifying the workforce, and providing low-income youth with opportunities typically afforded to their higher-income peers. Paid internships are still rare for high school students, particularly for youth who do not have connections through parents or other social networks to professionals in different fields.
This workshop will identify the logistics and considerations for creating a successful high school internship program, specifically for youth of color, low-income youth, and/or first-generation college youth. Using the LEAH Project, a STEM, college access, and career readiness program for youth typically underrepresented in STEM fields as an example, this workshop will demonstrate how to establish an internship program during out-of-school-time hours. This includes: (1) finding internship host partners who are willing to invest their time and resources to support youth personally and professionally; (2) preparing youth to take advantage of these opportunities; and (3) preparing summer internship hosts with tools and skills to support youth, particularly youth of color.
The LEAH Project hopes that through these meaningful paid STEM internship opportunities offered in conjunction with critical social-emotional, college, and career readiness programming youth will thrive in their internships and beyond.