JFF Summer Internship Year 2: Building a Pathway to the Future of Work

Published may. 31, 2022

At Jobs for the Future (JFF), our mission is to drive transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. Last year, we decided to walk that talk through the launch of a pilot summer internship program. Our goal was to provide meaningful work-based learning experiences to young people from across the country who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

After a highly successful pilot in which 17 interns spent 11 weeks working on key projects across JFF, we’re ready to do it again. And as we kick off Year 2, we’re excited to report that the JFF summer internship program is growing: This year, 26 young people will be joining teams that manage critical internal operations, such as finance, development, and human resources, and engage with external stakeholders in initiatives throughout the work and learn ecosystem.

This year’s program continues to be guided by our core JFF values, which compel us to provide a diverse group of young people from across the country with practical on-the-job experience along with learning and skill-building opportunities that will help them prepare for the future of work. We apply rigor and intentionality to our hiring and recruitment efforts, employ best practices, and use data to identify ways to innovate and improve the program. Ultimately, we hope the JFF summer internship will become an ongoing initiative that creates growth and learning experiences for both the interns and our full-time employees—and helps us build a strong talent pipeline that we’ll be able to tap well into the future.

This year’s program continues to be guided by our core JFF values, which compel us to provide a diverse group of young people from across the country with practical on-the-job experience along with learning and skill-building opportunities.

Immediate Growth

It was clear from the moment we opened Year 2 recruiting that our internship program would grow: We received more than 540 applications—more than double the 250 submitted last year.

Our unique approach to internship hiring and compensation, which focuses on equity and inclusivity, along with our decision to once again make the program fully remote, enabled us to hire a racially and geographically diverse group of young workers and learners. This year’s 26 interns will work for JFF from 21 cities across the country, and 88 percent of them identify as people of color.

Our key stakeholders in last year’s pilot internship program—interns, managers, mentors, and an engaged and supportive JFF community—provided us with a tremendous amount of positive feedback as well as suggestions of ways to strengthen and expand the program. We are implementing those suggestions, and we feel confident that the improvements we’re putting into place for this year’s internship program bring us much closer to our goal of positioning JFF as a leader among peer organizations offering work-based learning experiences for young people.

“As the program drew to a close last year, it was really great to see interns show appreciation for what they felt was a very thoughtful and meaningful approach to both the project work and professional development opportunities with which they were able engage,” says Emmanuel Manu, senior manager in JFF’s People & Culture unit.

Meet Our Class of 2022 Summer Interns!

  • Aaniyah Alexander, JFFLabs: Racial Economic Equity
  • Alba Martinez, Advancement Unit: Back on Track team
  • Ana Govea Grajeda, Work Unit: Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning
  • Angela Arroyo, Strategy, Growth, Innovation, and Impact (SG21) - 2
  • Ashanti Lovett, LabsX
  • Baljit Kaur, Research and Analytics
  • Daisha McIlwain, Executive Office
  • Gisele de Araujo, Inclusive Regional Economic Development (IRED)
  • Jah’Shae Newman, Labs: Impact Employer Model
  • Jalen Woods, Learning Unit: Marketing and Communications
  • Julie Lee, Policy and Advocacy - State Policy
  • Kader Akpinar, Finance
  • Kai Blokhuis, Marketing and Communications: Editorial
  • Keanna Goddard, People & Culture
  • Laura Lopez, Strategy, Growth, Innovation, and Impact (SG2I) - 1
  • Lauren Lee, Labs + Work Unit: Workforce Transformation Accelerator
  • Magdalene Ho, Development
  • Maggie Lau, Labs: ETF
  • McKenzie Reed, Policy and Advocacy - Hilton Project
  • Meghana Puri, Work Unit: Regional Initiatives/Localization
  • Nihar Shah, Labs: Data Services
  • Nikala D’Aguiar, Learning Unit: Guided Career Pathways
  • Quiyanna Wilson, Marketing and Communications: MarComm Digital
  • Shana Bouyer, Labs: Corporate Leadership
  • Yawo Codjie, Work Unit: Rapid IT Training and Employment (RITEI) Initiative
  • Yuritzy Ramos, Policy and Advocacy: Financing the Future
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