It is surprisingly easy to work with a non-profit program that develops young adults through summer intern and extern programs. Check into Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Inc, United Way and more! These young people are typically Juniors and Seniors in high school, and many of them are college bound.

Today, internship programs might be in person, virtual only or hybrid with an expectation of 10-20 hours a week of experience. It is typical that the programs offered through a non-profit are unpaid and the young adult earns a stipend (that might be funded by the company) upon completion. “A best practice to launch a program like this at your company is to have a lead that has the authority to create a plan and structure the work. However, actively engage someone from your team that is younger in career and could use the development experience of “managing” an employee. Not only are they often more relatable…because they are closer in age…but the learning for your own employee matches the experience of the intern! To teach is to learn!” offers Susan DeGrassi, NWIR Board Member and Chair of the Community Service Committee. “We’ve had 3-5 summer interns the past five years. They’ve worked in Customer Service, in the field (must be over age 18), in accounting, marketing and HR. The intern should be “meeting” the executives and hearing their career stories; shadowing some internal meetings, team huddles. Attending a safety meeting. Doing a project, data input, research. This is not about what the student can do for you but what they can learn from you. It is incredibly rewarding for both the mentee and mentor.”