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Youth Development Internship Program

In the spring of 2021, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation approached us about an idea they had to start a tutoring program where teens supported younger kids in our community with academic tutoring. This idea became our Youth Development Internship program and has been a tremendous success. The program has helped us lower our staff/intern to member ratio allowing more 1:1 and small group attention, it has provided a wonderful mentorship opportunity for our members as well as a rewarding paid internship program for local teens.

Teens are selected for the program through recruitment at Teen Services, the teen-serving arm of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, and at Sonoma Valley High School toward the end of each school year to fill the program for summer camp, and again toward the end of the summer for the following school year. Up to 20 teens at one time are selected for the program and before working with Club members, Interns must first complete our Ready to Work program, which teaches them about basic job skills, interview skills, resume writing and the application process, interviewing, money management, and much more. Additionally, Interns participate in the same training as our staff members to ensure they are fully equipped to succeed in their roles.

Interns gain valuable real-world work experience and job training that is relevant to any future career, and they earn an income. Additionally, through their work with our younger members, our Interns reinforce their own academic skills as they help with homework and our academic programs. Now, in just our third cohort of Interns, we’ve already had two teens who have discovered a passion for working with youth and have set new goals for their academic future and working careers. Other Interns thought they were interested in working with youth and their experience as Youth Development Interns has solidified those thoughts, which is incredibly valuable as they are at a point in their lives where they need to make significant decisions about their educations and futures.

Our younger members, in turn, benefit from having more trained individuals available to support them at the Club, be it with homework, an interpersonal challenge, or simply being a sympathetic ear to hear and support them.

If you are interested in becoming a Youth Development Intern, please email Alixya Soto, Teen Program Director, at [email protected].

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