Paid internships opening doors for local high school students
January 25, 2019 10:18 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Agnes Noonan has a busy day as the President of WESST Enterprise Center, a business incubator in downtown Albuquerque. But the part of her day she looks forward to most is mentoring high school intern, Ehlam Yosufzai.
“Well, I’m a firm believer of internships. I actually, you know had an opportunity when I was in school to participate in a couple of internships, which were life changing for me,” Noonan says.
This is the second semester Yosufzai has interned at WESST. The high school junior is learning all she needs to know about the business world.
“I love it, I actually love it because I get to meet a lot of people. A lot of important people of our community. Get to go a lot of places, to a lot of events, which I never got to go, but here I get the opportunity to go,” Yosufzai said.
Yosufzai is one of 30 students from the network of four leadership high schools in Albuquerque participating in Future Focused Education. It's a program that works with 19 local employers, such as Presbyterian and the City of Albuquerque providing paid internships to underserved and at-risk students.
For a semester, they get to try their hand at a particular career field.
“To have an opportunity to be exposed, then causes the imagination to kick in. And then many of them do figure out, you know, if I want to work towards this career, I need to go to college,”Noonan said.
And this year, the program is getting a big boost. A $25,000 grant from the Albuquerque Community foundation.
“This teen internship program really used education as a lens to economic opportunities for Albuquerque's youth,” Joanna Colangelo, Community Impact Director for the Albuquerque Community Foundation said.
The program’s hope is to soon become a paid internship hub for all high schools in the metro.
Updated: January 25, 2019 10:18 AM
Created: January 22, 2019 09:23 AM
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