Corporations and civic organizations collaborated to provide on-the-job learning last summer to more than 300 Dallas students as part of the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. Thanks to a $175,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase & Co., at least 50 additional opportunities will be available this summer.
A host of dignitaries, along with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, participated in a special kick-off event on Nov. 30 at North Dallas High School. The goal of the event was to encourage qualified students to register for the 2016 edition of the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program.
Hinojosa, in a press release following the event, strongly endorsed the program.
“The opportunity for a 16- or 17-year-old, who likely has not spent much time in a professional work environment, to get eight weeks of immersion is life changing,” said Dr. Hinojosa. “It takes them beyond the classroom, helps them understand the importance of education and opens their eyes to the array of careers out there if they get their college degree.”
Three Dallas ISD students and past program participants highlighted the event. They said their internships aligned closely with their career goals.
North Dallas High School senior Kaitlin Contreras wants to be a pediatrician and learned a great deal working in the social services department and interacting with parents during her internship at Parkland Hospital. Skyline High School senior Jesus Gamez worked at Chase and gained networking, communication and teambuilding skills. And Skyline High School senior Nigel Wilson shadowed physicians, positively influencing his career aspiration to become a pediatric neurologist.
The gift from Chase will fund 50 paid summer internships in the high-growth areas of healthcare, technology and energy for teens who attend Dallas public and charter high schools. It also will support work-readiness training, an essential step for youth entering a professional workplace.
Elaine Agather, chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Dallas, said her firm fully supports this effort.
“The sad fact is too many young people can’t find summer jobs. And, as a result, they’re missing out on critical opportunities to be personally and professionally successful in the future,” said Agather in a press release. “The Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program is a proven model, and we’ve seen thousands of students blossom as a result of their professional work experience.”
The deadline to register for the 2016 edition of the program at mayorsinterns.org is Jan. 31, 2016.
To qualify, students must be a current sophomore or junior at a Dallas public or charter high school and have the ability to work in the U.S. by June 12, 2016. In addition to being 16 years of age by June 12, students must have a 3.0 (85) cumulative GPA by Jan. 31, a solid attendance record and a letter of recommendation from campus leadership. They must also attend a full day of professional training.
If students meet the requirements, they will participate in a highly competitive, real-world Job Fair with employers set for April 8. If chosen for an eight-week internship, they’ll work full-or part-time positions from June 13 through Aug. 5, making a minimum of $9 per hour. The program concludes with a celebration luncheon at the end of the summer. The Mayors Intern Fellows Program is facilitated by Dallas nonprofit Education is Freedom.