The Work Is Success Internship Program (WISIP) is a newly created program for New York City Dreamer Scholars to have an opportunity to intern in fields they are interested in. These internships are with some of NYC's top small businesses and nonprofits that will help our Dreamers obtain direct work experience from industry leaders. This program is directed more towards our Dreamer Scholars so that they can connect what they are studying in college to the world of work. The hope is that the students gain a meaningful experience that would help motivate them to continue pursuing their major.
In order for our Dreamer Scholars to join the program they have to go through a competitive application process. This included filling out an application and going through an interview with an IHDF-NY Junior Board member. Based on their application and interview performance, the students would then be considered for a WISIP placement. This program was carried on by Matthew Wright (Ravenswood II IHDF Program Director) and Thierry Cazeau (Executive Director of IHDF-NY), after they attended the staff conference in Atlanta last year. Matt sat in on a presentation given by the Denver, CO affiliate about their Work Is Success Internship Program and was eager to establish it in New York. He then teamed up with Sierra Spechler (IHDF-NY/Ravenswood II Program Assistant), and made it their mission to make this program possible for NY Dreamers. This summer nine Dreamer Scholars joined the program and successfully completed their internship.
On Thursday, August 11, Matt and Sierra hosted The WISIP Corporate Breakfast, where interns and their supervisors spoke about their experience in the program and how it benefited them. The students went around and spoke about the challenges they faced and how overcoming those challenges helped them build very useful skills. For instance, Zekiiyah Joyner, a rising sophomore at Brooklyn College who is majoring in psychology, interned at the Center for Court Innovation. A challenge she faced was working independently because she was so used to being given tasks and being monitored throughout the process. However, with the help from her supervisors, Zekiiyah gained the necessary skills to work independently and get work done.
Overall the program was a success and IHDF-NY is hoping to expand the amount of interns in summer 2017 . Everyone had a valuable internship experience, and Matt, Sierra, and Thierry were very happy with the outcome.
By: Chelsea Bueno, Ravenswood II Dreamer