When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to work at a summer camp in San Pedro.
It gave me a chance to be a leader at a young age. It also made me a responsible young guy, since I was in charge of about 20 kids. I think I got more out of it than the kids. Because of this experience, and a few others, I was motivated to become a teacher and have had a very rewarding career as an educator.
Too few of our high school youths get a chance to experience meaningful work — a formative experience that can set a person on a path for life. Currently, there are 300 eligible San Francisco Unified School District juniors interested in internships and only half have secured placements for the summer.
When students see the real world relevance to what they are learning in school, it is proven to raise their grade-point average as well as their lifelong earning potential. Eleventh-graders have been getting ready all year to intern this summer as part of their industry-specific academy or pathway in finance, information technology, biotech, engineering, hospitality, law and health science.
They have been doing interest assessments, business research, outreach phone calls, informational interviews and job shadowing. Students have been polishing their professional skills and are now ready to spend time in the workplace. Could it be your workplace?
Our internship program offers a terrific opportunity to work with high school students as they prepare to continue their education or enter the workforce. Supporting student internships leads to a more prepared workforce and also allows many businesses the opportunity to catch up on those projects that never seem to get finished.
If you would like to help develop the talents of a young person, think about sponsoring a student intern at your workplace this summer. Or if your workplace isn’t a good fit, you can sponsor a student in a placement at an organization that could otherwise not afford one, such as a community-based nonprofit.
Carlos A. Garcia is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.
Real World 101
Some tips on hosting an intern:
- Internships last for six weeks (June 18-July 28) and students typically report to work for 20 hours per week
- Hosting or sponsoring a student intern costs a flat rate of $680 (students receive $600, $80 goes to taxes)
- The city and county of San Francisco indemnifies the employer and a memorandum of understanding is signed
- The SFUSD matches students to employers to bring together compatible employer and student skills and interests
- Commit to hosting or sponsoring a student intern this summer by completing the forms found here: www.sfusd.edu/en/programs/school-to-career/work-based-learning/2785.html