Best Practices
May 29, 2013

Investing in America's Immigrant Youth

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As summer quickly approaches, thousands of eager teenagers will flood the job market in search of an internship experience to give them a taste of the working world. Businesses, large and small, can benefit from taking on interns and seizing the opportunity to expose our country’s future workforce to new career opportunities.

As the national “skills gap” conversation turns to the need for students to learn about more career options at an early age, nonprofit Liberty’s Promise has found a solution through its successful summer internship program. The program has great success helping low-income, immigrant youth throughout the Washington, D.C. area gain experience in a workplace environment. Since 2005, Liberty’s Promise has placed 461 youth in eight-week internships at 157 government agencies, nonprofits, and small businesses in Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

Some details about the internships:

  • The business does not pay; the program is free for all host agencies and youth participants are provided an allowance of $100 per week by Liberty’s Promise.
  • All the participants have a good level of English proficiency and are bi-lingual.
  • Liberty’s Promise staff carefully screens all candidates, provide job skills assistance prior to internships, and offer support to interns and hosts throughout the entire process.
  • Businesses interview two to three candidates after reviewing resumes and cover letters so that businesses can find the best match.
  • Businesses see an increase in workplace diversity and access skills that may otherwise be hard to find.

Liberty’s Promise interns range in age from 15 to 21 and are legally eligible to work in the United States. Don’t let their age fool you—host organizations report Liberty’s Promise students consistently perform better than their college interns because they are eager to make the most of the opportunities available to them and receive training prior to job placement. In the past, Liberty’s Promise interns have, among other things, translated and created marketing materials, increased organizational visibility on social media, and helped with event planning.

Liberty’s Promise internships are an opportunity for students to learn the business, get exposure to different departments, and gain responsibility.

For more information about working with Liberty’s Promise interns this summer, contact Julien Labiche at or 703-549-9950.