"Celebrating Internships" issue (April)
A newsletter (for adults) about career readiness (for kids).
April is National Internship Awareness Month. Internships hold a special place in my heart — I have seen firsthand how these work-based experiences can be transformative and even life-changing for young people. Internships can be especially valuable for people from historically underserved communities. Why? Because interns are increasingly being paid, or at least given a stipend for their time and expenses. This helps to eliminate the crushing “I can’t afford not to work, but I can’t afford to get ‘good’ work experience” paradox that too often keeps financially vulnerable young people trapped in low-paying and hourly jobs that aren’t aligned to their interests. (To better understand how powerful internships can be, I urge you to read Izzy Fitzgerald’s story about her experience interning at City Hall. )
Internships aren’t just for young adults and generally speaking they should not be (as too many currently are) reserved only for college students. They hold great power as a means for teenagers to “try on” careers they’re interested in, to figure out what’s not right for them, and even to spend some time exploring career areas and roles they may not have considered or heard of before.
This month, with the long summer break on the not-too-distant horizon, I invite you to share news and resources about internships with the high-schoolers in your lives. Why should we all do this? Our research shows that while most teens were interested in participating in an internship, only around a third of them were aware of any internships that were available to them, and sadly, just 2% had completed one. To that end, we can do so much better by kids by completing one simple step: building awareness of what’s already out there. And there’s a LOT out there! Immediately below — where I normally share my pick of the month — I’m instead sharing a handful of links to internship opportunities, which I urge you to share with the teens in your world. And if they first need a starting point to figure out what career clusters they are interested in, I invite you to send them over to ASA Futurescape™. Enjoy this month’s roundup!
*Internship Resources for Teens*
-Pathways Internship Program (Check link for a wide variety of paid opportunities to work in federal agencies and explore federal careers while completing your education; applications open on rolling basis.)
-Library of Congress Summer Internship (Check link for virtual and on-site internships, apply until April 28, 2023.)
-Johns Hopkins C.A.R.E.S. Pathways Program (Check link for deadlines and for a variety of largely Baltimore-based summer opportunities for students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in science, public health, and medicine. )
-Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Internships (Check link for a list of government internships available to high school students with a curiosity about information technology and cybersecurity; application deadlines vary.)
-Arts4Learning Miami Internship (A paid, six-week, summer arts internship open to 9th-12th grade Florida residents; apply until May 5, 2023.)
-MFA Boston Teen Internship (A paid, 12-month arts internship for Boston-area teens; applications accepted on a rolling basis.)
-Pikes Peak Business & Education Alliance High School Internship (A 60-hour cybersecurity, culinary and hospitality, skilled trade, or business training opportunity for students in grades 9-12. Act fast, the deadline for students to apply is April 16, 2023!)
If these internship opportunities seem too daunting, we also encourage kids seek out opportunities in their local communities. Many cities and towns organize youth summer jobs programs. For instance, here’s a Boston-based program for youth ages 14-18. Talk to your school or contact your local elected officials to learn more about paid summer internships in your community.
SXSW EDU Spotlight: Engaging Employers in High School Work-based Learning
My colleague Julie hosted a panel at this year’s SXSW EDU that focused on a really important question: What’s holding back many businesses from offering work-based learning opportunities to middle- and high-schoolers? Extending these opportunities seems like a no-brainer. Julie writes that, “Kids who show up for work-based learning opportunities in partnership with employers are empowered to feel – and work – as real professionals do. They’re given a safe place in which to experiment, learn, fail, succeed, and decide whether this line of work is something worth pursuing in the long haul.” Where’s the disconnect?
The Bottom Line: Without business leaders on-board, the work to create stronger pathways from education into the workforce is hindered dramatically. Yet, even today, any web search quickly reveals that the vast majority of internships are still for college students, not for high schoolers. This needs to change, or else we run the risk of work-based learning simply existing as yet another avenue reserved for privileged kids who may already be college-bound. When businesses extend these opportunities to kids, regardless of academic pedigree and college plans, they help to create not only a more equitable playing field, but also a stronger workforce. As it turns out, the barriers for business leaders are often things like, “We aren’t sure how this will help us as a business” or “What logistics do we need to consider to offer an internship to a high school freshman?” The truth? With guidance and support, any business today can overcome these hurdles and make their mark as creators of equity and opportunity for young people while generating great returns.
College Readiness Shouldn’t be a Top Priority for K-12 Anymore, Survey Shows (Results of a national survey, reported by EdWeek)
K–12 Teachers are Quitting. What Would Make Them Stay? (Research from McKinsey)
The Purpose of a K-12 Education: Who Decides and How Do We Get There? (Details of a recent report, explained by eSchool News)
Empowering the Future: Sam’s Club High School Internship Program (Sam’s Club Newsroom, March 28, 2023)
Internships: Bolster Your Talent Pipeline Amid Economic Uncertainty (Monster Blog, April 11, 2023)
Lessons In Leadership: A North Carolina Principal Details Why Middle School is More Than Academics (K-12 Dive, March 31, 2023)
Creating Opportunities for Teens to Test and Try with Jean Eddy (High School Hamster Wheel Podcast, April 6, 2023)
Groups Seek Help From Local Business to Host Summer Internship Program (WAFB News, March 30, 2023)
Credentialing Everything: A Primer on Learning and Employment Records and Digital Wallets (Getting Smart, March 16, 2023)
US Teens Say They Have New Proof for 2,000-Year-old Mathematical Theorem (The Guardian, March 24, 2023)
Julie Lammers on Rethinking Postsecondary Education Opportunities (WorkingNation, March 8, 2023)
Local Partnerships Can Help Restore Arts Programs Lost to Budget Cuts (K-12 Dive, March 22, 2023)
Stephanie Short and David Zasada on Design for Delight and Durable Skills (Getting Smart, March 30, 2023)
YouScience Expands Certification Offerings Throughout the State of Washington (Cision/PR Newswire, March 24, 2023)
Skills-based Hiring Requires Commitment to Change (SHRM Newsroom, March 28, 2023)
ASU+GSV Summit - Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, and virtual - April 17-19, 2023
American Student Assistance® (ASA) is a proud sponsor of the 2023 ASU+GSV Summit. ASA will host an opening reception on Sunday, April 16, at 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. PT on the Pool Deck, Level 4. ASA and ASU+GSV will also present joint programming featuring experts from across the education and career readiness ecosystem, as part of the Career Readiness and Mobility track. Panel discussions will focus on the student career readiness journey, including learner paths in middle school that allow a student to explore careers, test and try in high school through experiential learning or intentional pathways, and plan for the future through postsecondary education and non-degree pathways. Learn more here. Finally, don’t miss two opportunities to chat with ASA on Partnering to Enable Career Exploration and Skill Building, and Impact Investing in Career Readiness. Please visit https://www.asa.org/events/asu-gsv-summit-2023/ for ASA’s Office Hours.
JFF Horizons - New Orleans - June 14-15, 2023
Horizons, presented by Jobs for the Future, is the premier national platform for ideas and action to drive equitable economic advancement for all.
American Student Assistance (ASA), Getting Smart, and Jobs for the Future (JFF), have collaborated to curate a career readiness learning track to elevate high school intentional pathways, as well as change the mindset about diverse postsecondary pathways that include non-degree options. At this year’s conference, we will provide a forum for how these groups can work collaboratively to make high school students workforce and postsecondary education ready.
Join us for panel presentations that will focus on the topics of “Disrupting the Status Quo: Redesigning Our Education-to-Workforce Approach”; “The Crossroads of the Future of Education, the Future of Higher Ed, and the Future of Workforce Development: Where Are We Headed?”; “New Models Blend High School, Higher Ed, and Workforce Development”; “Employers Leading the Way in High School Work-based Learning”; and “Verifying Skill Competency: Non-traditional Learning Paths.”
Learn more about these panel presentations. We hope to see you there.