learn / 2016

The Intern Project: SLATE-Z Expansion

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by LA Promise Fund

The Intern Project will expose an additional 50 high school juniors located within the newly established South Los Angeles Promise Zone to paid internship opportunities in high growth career fields.


Please describe your project proposal.

The Intern Project is a countywide effort to expose more than 325 African American and Hispanic students from predominantly low-income backgrounds to mentorships, volunteer opportunities, and paid internships in high growth career fields that include digital media, entertainment, technology, health care, and design. By supporting our LA2050 campaign, an additional 50 students from one of 11 South Los Angeles Promise Zone high schools will participate in paid summer internships.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • College matriculation rates
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • Student education pipeline
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA
  • County of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

According to researchers, work-based learning programs provide many social and academic benefits to students such as increasing their interest in college, establishing connections between the classroom and real-world, inspiring ownership of their career trajectory, and developing critical life skills (creative problem solving, conflict resolution, communication, and teamwork). The LA Promise Fund will advance each of these core values in partnership with the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z), a coalition of community organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, and elected officials, which seeks to revitalize an economically impacted South Los Angeles area through the successful implementation of programs and initiatives that adhere to three primary tenants: Economic Development and Job Creation, Cradle to Career Pathways, and Improving Transit Infrastructure. In the area of Cradle to Career Pathways, our organization will expand The Intern Project to 11 participating high schools located within the federally designated South Los Angeles Promise Zone. Included among them are 10 Los Angeles Unified School District campuses (Manual Arts Senior High School, West Adams Preparatory High School, Foshay Learning Center, Dorsey High School, Crenshaw High School, Santee Education Complex, Jefferson High School, Fremont High School, Maya Angelou Community High School, and Orthopedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School) and a YouthBuild operated charter school known as the Coalition for Responsible Community Development Academy, which is located at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and serves students (ages 16-24) who have dropped out of traditional high schools. Your generous support will help expose more than 325 students from predominantly low-income backgrounds to workforce readiness training (resume building, job application preparation, dressing for success, mock interviews, etc.) and other Linked Learning opportunities (i.e. field trips, job shadowing, career panels, career fair, etc.). More than 100 students will also be placed in paid internships with local businesses in high growth industries such as digital media, entertainment, technology, health care, and design.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Our organization will track participation and gather general information about students that includes ethnic background, first-generation status, prior work experience, and interest in pursuing a postsecondary education. In 2015-2016, The Intern Project placed 54 students (70% African American/Hispanic and 30% first-generation) in paid internships with prominent local businesses such as Bad Robot Productions, SpaceX, and Kaiser Permanente. An additional 200 students were exposed to careers in high growth fields through various internship, mentorship, and volunteer opportunities, 17 of which received scholarships ranging in value from $5,500 to $10,000.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Publicity/awareness