A record number of rising seniors at Birmingham City Schools students applied for internships next year through the Birmingham Promise work-based learning program.
More than 250 students applied for Birmingham Promise internships, which provide an opportunity for seniors in Birmingham City Schools to work in local businesses, develop job skills and get paid $15 an hour.
The largest number of applicants in previous years was 159.
The internship program will provide opportunities in both fall and spring semesters to maximize opportunities for students to participate. More than 80 local employers have hosted interns in the past, but more are being sought to fulfill the demand among next year’s students.
“This is a great opportunity for businesses of all size to not only invest in Birmingham’s students but also to invest in their own future workforce,” said Brittney McClure, the internship program manager for Birmingham Promise. “We’ve heard from our partners time and again that the benefits of this program are mutual.”
Employers who are interested in offering internships can contact Birmingham Promise at workbasedlearning@BirminghamPromise.org.
Seniors in Birmingham City Schools who have at least a 2.0 grade point average are eligible to apply for internships. Previous participants have successfully completed internships at banks, law firms, utilities, media outlets, healthcare institutions, nonprofits, colleges, construction firms, sports organizations, food vendors, tech firms, public relations firms and many other local businesses.
The deadline for next year’s seniors to apply was April 7. On April 14, Birmingham Promise hosted an internship orientation to begin getting applicants ready to connect with local employers. Going forward, the students will go through an interview process that in itself is an important learning opportunity.
Senior Program Manager Kirk Mitchell said the goal was to get at least 100 applications for next year, and Birmingham Promise made a concerted effort to reach all of Birmingham’s juniors through small group meetings, large assemblies and their school counselors to make sure everyone was aware of the opportunity. While the applications exceeded the immediate goal, the number still doesn’t reach the ultimate goal for Birmingham Promise.
“We envision a world where all Birmingham City School students can participate and be well-prepared for success in whatever field they choose,” said Samantha Williams, executive director of Birmingham Promise. “We want all graduates to have a path to the education and employment opportunities that will allow them to fulfill their dreams.”
In addition to its internship program, Birmingham Promise provides up to four years of tuition assistance for graduates of Birmingham City Schools who attend public colleges and universities in Alabama. To stay informed, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.