What a Difference a Summer Can Make…

It is that time of year again…. and summer is quickly approaching.  When most high school students think of Summer they may think of the beach, the sun, the pool, relaxing, hanging out with friends, and sometimes a fun Summer job. But for Easter Seals Greater Houston‘s High School/High Tech Program Summer means WORK! For a select number of High School/High Tech students, Summer means SUMMER INTERNSHIPS and the opportunity to gain hands on experience in a field of their interest.  It means the opportunity to gain experience while learning about science, engineering and technology related fields, being mentored by professionals, learning responsibility, and a bit more about life in “the real world”.  3In addition to this amazing opportunity, they also….GET PAID! This truly is a life changing experience for our students. They learn so much more than they would in a “typical” summer job. They learn more about responsibility and independence, gain confidence, and learn self advocacy, while working in a safe setting with a mentor/professional who is willing to share their expertise and knowledge and appreciates the students desire to learn. The summer internship program is one of the major components of the High School/High Tech program and one of the most rewarding, but High School/High Tech has many aspects.18

Teens with disabilities are more likely to drop out of high school (close to 70%) and more likely to be at risk without mentors and support. High School/High Tech is an enrichment program for high school students with all types of disabilities who are interested in exploring careers in science, engineering, and technology. Throughout the school year students have the opportunity to take field trips to high-tech companies, colleges and technical training schools in an effort to learn more about these fields and the various job/career opportunities that are available. This early exposure helps them in preparing for their futures and in planning for their post secondary education or training. The High School/High Tech Summer Internship program provides our students with an opportunity to gain hands on experience in a field of their interest. sms 1560 internThis year High School/High Tech would love to place 10 students in paid summer internships. The internships will last 6-8 weeks depending on the site, and students will work 20-24 hours per week. The internships will begin with a pre-employment training at Easter Seals in which High School/High Tech staff will prepare the students for their employment, as for most of the students this will be their first work experience. Students will learn about soft skills in the workplace as well as other work readiness skills. Interns will be followed and visited regularly by High School/High Tech staff throughout the summer. The is just part of the program that is offered year round.  AND The most amazing statistic – our drop out rate is 1%!

Our students would not have this amazing opportunity for success without the generosity of our donors, sponsors, and mentors, who so willingly share their time and expertise. Companies who have recently served as internship sites and/or sponsors include; NASA, 1560AM, Johnson Space Center, Texas Children’s Hospital, Dynamic Orthotics and Prosthetics, CVS, Compucycle,  Dr. Taghadosi, The Caroline School, and John Eagle Honda just to name a few.

Summer is quickly approaching and we are looking for companies, big or small, or individuals to sponsor our internship program. If you are interested in sponsoring an intern either financially or as a host OR BOTH, please contact our development department at 713-838-9050 or kklein@eastersealshouston.org or if you have any questions about the program please contact me, Yvonne Kelly @ ykelly@easterseals.org.

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