Tamia Roberts, 17, dreams of becoming a cinematographer. She’s now a senior in high school and spends her free time writing scripts and building her YouTube channel to showcase her films.
Roberts is one of 1,709 students this summer who applied and were chosen for the Summer Youth Internship Program funded by The Children’s Trust in Miami.
“I learned to make connections and always take people’s business cards because you never know when you will need them again,” said Roberts.
The program, which offers work experience and school credit to students, extends the experience of a classroom by placing them in fields related to their current or prospective studies. To be selected for the program, candidates must complete a pre-employment workshop and submit their resumes to be reviewed by employers.
Roberts hopes to fine tune her writing and cinema skills so she can one day apply to Florida Atlantic University's Master of Fine Arts program.
The Children’s Trust has helped 3,172 student interns since its start last summer. The program is a collaboration with Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Public Schools, The Children’s Trust, The Foundation for New Education Initiatives and Career Source South Florida.
Jose Herrera, 16, was also selected. He worked at The Children’s Trust’s Information Technology Department. He said his brother taught him how to build a computer at an early age, but what he learned during the internship was just as important. He learned how to communicate professionally.
“How to interact with other people: You can’t learn that in schools. You can’t learn how to be a person,” said Herrera.
Herrera was offered a part-time job at The Children’s Trust after his internship ended; he accepted.
The Summer Youth Internship Program is connected with over 700 employers interested in accepting student interns. The employers are both non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses.
Florencia Rivera, 17, doesn’t know what she wants to study but says the internship experience she acquired in the payroll department at a Holiday Inn hotel only brings her closer to figuring it out.
“Now I am going to enjoy my three weeks of summer, go to school, apply for college. Just work hard and go to school,” said Rivera.
She was also offered a job after her internship, but because of a conflict with her school hours, she declined the offer. At the moment she is deciding to pursue a career in either hospitality or occupational therapy. She hasn’t decided which one yet.
The Summer Youth Internship Program works with participating high schools to ensure that a student is placed with the best-suited employer.
Jerry Jean-Pierre, 17, is about to start his senior year of high school, but he already knows what he wants to pursue. He interned at i2 Labs in Miami.
“I want to study computer engineering, and have my own business where I can help my city,” said Pierre when asked what his dreams were.
Pierre wants to improve South Florida’s technology industry by attracting technology-based work and jobs to Miami. He’s already looking for another job to build his resume.
This story has been corrected for a spelling error. We had originally spelled Jerry Jean-Pierre's name as Jean Jerry Pierre. We regret the error.