John Balenzuela, who will be a senior at Lafayette’s Centaurus High School, is getting a preview of professional life and college life at the University of Colorado Boulder through the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County‘s teen summer internship program.

He’s working in CU’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, helping organize workshops for the interns and creating a newsletter about the partnership between CU and “I Have A Dream.”

“I know that it is going to give me a ton of opportunities later on down the road,” he said. “What I’ve loved about being an IHAD CU intern is mostly the connections with people that I make. I get to interact with the lovely and awesome CU staff that make this campus a fun environment.”

This summer, 32 “I Have A Dream” high school and college students are working as interns at 30 business sites. The internships are 20 to 30 hours a week for six to eight weeks. Interns are paid between $11.50 and $15.67 an hour.

To qualify, students must participate in an intensive, two-day career readiness boot camp. The camp includes workshops on public speaking, resume and LinkedIn profile building, mock interviews and professional communication.

“I Have a Dream” then sends students’ resumes to the organizations they’re interested in, and the organizations interview the students before choosing the one they feel is the best fit.

Lori Canova, ” I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County’s CEO, said the internship program started in 1999 as a partnership with CU, then expanded to other businesses.

“For students, it’s a really meaningful summer job that could maybe turn into a future career,” she said. “For businesses, it can provide an opportunity to build their future workforce, and these amazing students can give them a fresh perspective.”

Boulder this summer is hosting eight “dreamers” in various city departments, as well as bringing the intern group together once a week for workshops and city department tours.

“it’s a way to help local government connect with our local youth and give them an opportunity to understand the work that we do,” said Aimee Kane, Boulder program and project manager. “Its a good opportunity for us to hear the youth perspective in the community.”

She’s working this summer with intern Marlen Ramirez, a senior at the University of Northern Colorado. Ramirez, who also participated last summer in the internship program, is helping with the city’s police oversight task force.

With plans to become a police officer, she said, working with the task force has been a good learning experience.

“I’ve been able to get the community’s perspective on what they think of police,” she said. “I’m from a community where we don’t really work with police. Something I wanted to change is to have police officers be more interactive with the community.”

Incoming Centaurus junior Leslie Morales-Castro is interning at the FC Boulder soccer club. She said being bilingual, plus being able to work with kids, were skills that made her a good fit for the internship.

Photo by Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

Intern Leslie Morales talks to a group of campers Wednesday at the FC Boulder soccer camp at the YMCA in Lafayette. Morales is an I Have a Dream Boulder County intern.

Through the internship, she’s helped the club with organization and coaching for a summer soccer camp for kids ages 4 to 10.

“This has been an amazing experience for me,” she said.

Adam Hayes, FC Boulder’s executive director, said this is the club’s first summer working with the intern program, though the club has worked with “I Have a Dream” for many years by offering reduced costs for the program’s students.

“(Leslie) has been a great addition to our staff,” he said, adding he hopes to keep her engaged with the club after the internship ends.

Source link