But thanks to Mayor Mike Rawlings’ Intern Fellows program, 173 Dallas ISD and public charter high school students are working in coveted positions, soaking up real-world knowledge and eye-opening experiences at Dallas’ top businesses and non-profits. The students have worked up to 40-hour weeks – all paid positions earning a minimum of $9/hour – over the past eight weeks.
Depending on their internships, the students have done everything from witnessing surgeries, to evaluating recipes at a national restaurant corporation, to learning about manufacturing and distribution of eyeglass lens, to going behind the scenes with the American Red Cross. They’ve also worked at non-profit organizations – such as the Boys & Girls Clubs and the AT&T Performing Arts Center – learning that charities require creative, yet business-minded leadership to deliver cost-effective services.
“These internships gave 173 Dallas students a fire in their eyes and a belief that, with a lot of hard work and a college degree, a fulfilling, financially rewarding career can become a reality,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “And a big thanks goes to the companies that made all this possible.”
Mayor Rawlings honored the students and expressed his gratitude to their employers at the annual Mayor’s Intern Fellows luncheon held at the Omni Hotel Dallas.
Speakers included Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, Angela Ross of AT&T, Gillian Breidenbach of Bank of America, and EIF board member Mavis Knight. Also on hand for the celebration were Uplift Education CEO Yasmin Bhatia, Richland Collegiate High School Superintendent Donna Walker, Harmony Science Academy Superintendent Faith Ay, and Faith Family Academy Superintendent Dr. Mollie Savage.
The Mayor’s Office founded the Intern Fellows program in 2008 in partnership with Dallas-based nonprofit Education is Freedom and lead partner AT&T. Since its inception, 513 students have participated (including this year’s group of interns). Of the interns who graduated since 2008, more than 80 percent are currently enrolled in colleges such as Georgetown, Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University, UT-Austin, Texas A&M-Commerce, University of North Texas and other outstanding schools.
“The Mayor’s Intern Fellows can be a life-changing experience for our students because they give qualified students a realistic view of the working world, allowing them to utilize their potential and visualize their future,” said Marcia Page, president and CEO of Education is Freedom. “Through this experience, students see first-hand where a quality education can lead and the education paths they’ll need to follow to get there.”
The Mayor’s Intern Fellows program involves students 16 and older who are sophomores or juniors at any Dallas public or charter high school and who are eligible to work in the U.S.
To learn more about the Mayor’s Intern Fellows program, go to mayorsinterns.org or call Education is Freedom at 214-432-8552.