GRACE is excited to offer a new four-day internship elective for high school students interested in applying their education to real-life problems in real-life businesses. In partnership with local non-profit District C, students will receive training focused on teamwork, leadership, and design thinking before they tackle the presented problems. After weeks of research, development, and virtual collaboration, students pitch their ideas to their partner businesses.
A maximum of 8 students will be selected for the initial cohort and work in two teams of 3 or 4. Each problem cycle begins with a launch meeting with the business partner to better understand the problem and the problem context and ends with a proposal meeting during which teams workshop their solution concept with the business partner in front of a live audience. There will be multiple problem cycles throughout the school year giving students the opportunity to work with more than one company.
The District C business partners represent all types of organizations from across industries — startups and large corporations, nonprofits and for-profits, retail and high tech, and everything in between. A typical problem cycle is anywhere between 3 weeks and 6 weeks long, with teams committing 3-5 hours per week. Here are some examples of businesses and the problems previous groups of students have solved:
A sports retail company looking to improve its employee training practices
A nonprofit looking to diversify its revenue sources to build a more sustainable business model
A local juice bar and cafe looking to revamp its in-store traffic flow to improve customer experience
A 100-year-old real estate company looking to unify its company culture across six divisions
When asked what they liked most about the District C experience, students said the opportunity to add real value to a real person or organization is at the top of the list. Regardless of the problem, student teams have a chance to engage in real work that has real consequences and the potential to make a meaningful impact. Not only is this a huge motivator, but it also provides students with an authentic work experience that any college or potential employer will want to hear more about.
Students interested in being part of this new "District C Internship" elective should complete this interest form indicating why they should be considered for our first cohort of students. We recommend consulting the District C website to learn more about their program when crafting your statement. This will be a four-day elective and if selected for this cohort, you will replace the Orange and Blue elective choices you have already made with the District C Internship Elective.