When Gaby, a junior at Flushing International High School, was first assigned to interview her mentor at her internship, she hesitated and asked if she could interview another intern, saying Maria was “too busy and important.”
But upon interviewing Maria, Gaby was surprised to find that their stories were actually very similar. Like her, Maria was from the Dominican Republic and was also raised by her mother and grandmother. As a result, Gaby gained confidence at her workplace and was more comfortable communicating with Maria.
Flushing International serves recent immigrants who are new learners of English, including students from over 40 countries and who speak more than 20 languages. Through its internship program, juniors like Gaby gain work experience and increased college and career readiness under the guidance of a mentor.
During their internship, students also take an academic seminar which allows them to share challenges and accomplishments. Gaby’s seminar instructor was Ms. Whitehall, who participated in the Career Competency Fellows program led by the Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Readiness (OSPR) and Eskolta. Through this program, educators learned about career readiness research from a variety of national sources; interacted with visiting researchers; and shared their own promising practices.
In addition to completing the mentor project for her seminar, Gaby also created a bilingual brochure about the architectural firm she interned at. At the school-wide internship exhibition later on, Gaby proudly presented her brochure to a shy ninth-grader; then, flipping it over, she showed him the same words in his native Spanish.
Sharing about her internship experience, Gaby told her classmates: “One piece of advice Maria has given to me to be successful in my future is that I should never let nobody say to me that I can’t do something … she has told me to trust in my abilities as a person because it is the essence to my future.
About the Project: Launched in 2015 by the NYC Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Readiness (OSPR) and Eskolta, the Career Competency Fellows program follows the College and Career Readiness Domains developed by OSPR. These domains provide a roadmap for teachers, schools, and students to work towards college and career readiness at every level.
To access the report about Flushing International’s work through Career Competency Fellows, which provides steps and tips for implementing internship practices and projects, fill out the form below.