InspirED Futures Internship Program
Decatur Public Schools and its business and industry partners recognize the need for our high school students to be provided meaningful real life work experiences in the real world prior to high school graduation. Thus, following several meetings, it was determined that Decatur Public Schools would pilot the Decatur Pathways to Prosperity Internship Program in the spring of 2015.
After a successful pilot year in 2015, the internship transitioned in The InspirED Futures Internship Program!
The goal of the internship is to provide the students with the opportunity to increase their problem-solving skills. Each participating partner presents their studen interns with a real life problem/project that challenges their business. The student interns are tasked with brainstorming and researching possible solutions. While the scope of the internship is up to the business, the expectation from the district to the businesses is that each of the pojects must have the students fully engaged and involed in hands-on, meaningful experiences.
Currently, DPS has forty students from both high schools participating in the Spring internship at twenty-five local businesses. Some business partners include: Caterpillar Inc. Decatur Memorial Hospital, HSHS St. Mary's, Cromwell Radio, Northgate Animal Clinic, Macon County States Attorney's Office, Crossing Healthcare, Land of Lincoln Credit Union, Richland Community College, Millikin University, Decatur Police Department, Decatur Daycare, BLDD Architects, Macon County Animal Control, HH Family Dental, Corley Family Dental, Lowkey Studio, DPS # 61, Ameren IL, Dales Southlake Pharmacy, Baby Talk, and Walker Funeral Home.
The internship this school year began January 15, 2019—April 25, 2019. The student interns will be enrolled in a Career Preparation class Monday thru Friday and then the student interns will report to their assigned businesses on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. After the successful completion of the internship, the student interns will receive 1.5 credits towards graduation and receive a letter grade for the class portion.
The recruitment of employers to host interns, identification of students, and the application process are underway. This is not a paid internship, however, the exposure and experience the students will receive is priceless. Each student will be required to maintain a project journal and update it on a weekly basis. The student interns will be evaluated by their business partner mentor, as well as be given the opportunity to evaluate their internship experience upon completion. The student interns are accountable for maintaining their 2.5 grade point average and remaining professional and respectful at all times during the Internship.
Student application criteria are as follows:
- Senior status and on track to graduate
- 2.5 GPA or higher
- Submit application
- 3 Letters of Recommendations (2-teacher & 1-other)
- Complete Career Cruising Career Interest Inventory
- Participate in a Mock Interview with potential employer