Mayor urges businesses, students to participate in intern program


On Tuesday, Jan. 23, Mayor Mike Rawlings kicked off the 11th Dallas Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program by urging businesses and nonprofits to sign up to participate in the program. The eight-week paid summer internships are available to Dallas students, with the deadline to register coming fast on Jan. 31.

The Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program introduces high school students to careers and employment opportunities in industries and companies where they have expressed interest. Modeled after the prestigious White House Fellows Program, the Dallas program prepares motivated teens to become the leaders of tomorrow.

“Businesses ask me all the time ‘What can we do?’ and my first response is to sign up for the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program,” Rawlings said. “There is no greater contribution a city can make than educating our children, and the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program is a great way for public high school students to make the connection between a college education and great career. I truly appreciate the businesses that step up each year to invest in our youth and future workforce.”

Tuesday’s event featured remarks by Dallas ISD Deputy Superintendent Israel Cordero, Mike Peterson of AT&T, Gillian Breidenbach of Bank of America, Jay Clingman of JPMorgan Chase, Mark Okada of Highland Capital Management, Marcia Page of Education is Freedom, and Betsy Cox of VNA Meals on Wheels and Nutrition Services.

Former interns were on hand as well, including Sundai Gibson of Kimball High School who interned at AT&T; Bryan Estrada of Moisés E. Molina High School who interned at HDR; and Brenda Flores of Skyline High School who interned at Visit Dallas.

Since its inception in 2008, 2,175 students from 52 Dallas ISD, Richardson ISD and public charter high schools have participated in the program. Last year’s program was the biggest ever – 2,150 high school students applied for internships, 1,150 qualified for the Job Fair, and a record-breaking 392 students were hired by more than 240 businesses and nonprofits. However, more than 750 students did not land an internship, which is why Mayor Rawlings is encouraging more businesses and nonprofits to step up.

Students have until Jan. 31 to submit their applications for an internship at This year, interns will receive a $1 raise – making at least $10 an hour working 20 to 40 hours a week. To date, the interns’ cumulative payroll is more than $4.6 million. The eight-week internships will begin June 11 and conclude Aug. 3. The Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program celebratory luncheon is July 27 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

AT&T is the Founding Sponsor and Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program, and JPMorgan Chase is the Lead Intern Sponsor. Highland Capital Management is the sponsor of the Job Fair set for April 3 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, where students will be interviewed by human resource professionals and receive formal job offers.

Alliance Data is the Intern Fellows Training Sponsor, to provide the interns with three days of intense training – including Microsoft Office and leadership training – before their summer positions begin. As the Community Service Sponsor, Tenet Healthcare will underwrite a service day at the North Texas Food Bank on June 23. TurningPoint Foundation is the Transportation Sponsor.

Other program sponsors include Atmos Energy, Dallas ISD, Dallas Business Journal, Kroger, Lisa K. Simmons and Texas Instruments.


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