For the seventh year, the Watertown Community Foundation will help high school students from Town get internships, and in 2021 it will launch a new type of internship where interns will learn about philanthropy by serving on a board.
The Community Foundation will welcome up to 18 interns this year. Most will be summer internships with local businesses and groups, and two will be the year-long internships where students will join the Foundation’s board. Watertown Community Foundation Executive Director Jan Singer said she believes the WCF will also benefit from the new program.
“It’s definitely a two-way street,” Singer said. “It helps us diversify by having younger people at our meetings and having the information we can’t get by not being in school all day and not being under 20.”
The Foundation began with just five internships in 2015, but it has grown significantly, said Lora Sabin, WCF Board Member and Program Co-Creator.
“In 2015, when the Watertown Community Foundation and the Watertown High School Guidance Department launched this unique summer internship program for our town’s high school-age students, we had no idea how quickly it would grow!” Sabin said.
Students participating in the summer internships get work experience. They commit to working 120 hours over the summer, and receive a $1,000 stipend at the end.
“The program is designed to offer work experience and skills development, provide an opportunity to explore a prospective career path, increase responsibility, and enhance confidence,” said Adrienne Eaton, WHS Lead Guidance Counselor and Program Co-Creator. “Students have worked in surgical and veterinary offices, homeless aid agencies, youth camps and children’s theater programs.”
Singer added that the Foundation is looking for local businesses and organizations to partner with and take on an intern.
With the Student Board Internships, students will participate in a range of activities, but will not have a vote on the board. The interns will receive a $1,000 stipend after completing the program. The internship is open to students who will be sophomores and juniors in the fall of 2021.
Each will have a member of the board as a mentor. They will attend the WCF’s monthly meetings, Singer said, and be part of two subcommittees: the Grants Committee and the Events Committee, which organizes fund-raising events such as the trivia night and the Townwide Spelling Bee.
“It is great for the students at the high school learn more about us,” Singer said. “They may not know what we are doing. It will be great for them to know and may help guide us and help us do what we do.”
All students living in Watertown can participate in the internship program.
“The application goes through the high school,” Singer said. “If they are in the school, they probably have heard about it, but if live in Watertown and don’t go to Watertown High they can still apply.”
The application deadline for both grant programs is June 4, 2021. The Foundation encourages all interested students to contact Adrienne Eaton at email@example.com