During the summer months, high school students have the opportunity to "test-drive" career interests, gain valuable work experience, and possibly earn a little money by signing up for one of many internship or paid positions made available by local industry or the nonprofit community.
And it’s no secret that colleges like to see you’ve done something other than work on a tan or beat the next level of Angry Birds with time allotted between June and August.
Although it’s getting late and many summer jobs and internships are already filled, there are still a few openings for high school students. But you have to look a little harder and be persistent.
Here are a few examples of positions that may still be available:
Environmental Protection Agency: All internships paid by EPA appear in the government-wide USAJobs.gov portal (the best source of information for all federal summer positions). Most opportunities are advertised in March, April, and May. Note that positions typically open for 1 to 2 weeks only and many require at least 640 hours of work.
Fairfax County Democratic Committee: Each summer the FCDC sponsors an internship program for dozens of high school students. They help by contacting voters, improving contact data, making campaign buttons, and working at events like rallies, parades, fairs, and festivals. An online application is available on the FCDC website.
Fairfax County Park Authority: Looking for a great summer experience working with children? The RecPac CIT program needs high school students who want to develop leadership and communication skills as well as gain experience in planning activities and instructing young children. Applicants must be at least 14 and be available to work fixed hours daily during the week. Applications will be accepted through June 13, 2014 and are available on line.
Fairfax County Republican Committee: The Fairfax County Republican Committee is currently searching for students interested in learning more about campaigning and effective public communications. Student interns will gain valuable knowledge about the democratic process and work to become adept communicators through hands-on experience with elected officials, candidates, and the general public. If you’re interested, contact 703-766-4467 or e-mail the Fairfax County Republican Committee at FairfaxCountyGOP@gmail.com.
Georgetown/Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center: The Summer Volunteer Research Program is designed for outstanding high school and undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in bio-medically related sciences. No previous research experience is necessary, although AP Science is strongly encouraged. Students must be 16 years of age by June 30, 2014 and must be current juniors in high school. Applications are due no later than May 1, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.
Long Branch Plantation: Located a little over an hour from DC, Long Branch Plantation is still accepting internship applications from high school students. Projects will provide hands-on opportunities and experiences in historic preservation, digital history, archival research, historic interpretation and programming. Please send a resume and a brief email discussing your interest to Cassie Ward, Director of Public Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
National Air and Space Museum: The Explainers Program gives high school students an opportunity to work at the National Air and Space Museum. Applicants must be at least 16 and available to work at least 16 hours per month. Note that you will need to submit an application, an essay, an official high school transcript and two letters of recommendation.
National Park Service: Some limited summer jobs and internships may be available at individual parks. For the Youth Conservation Corps in specific, students between the ages of 15 and 18 must complete the YCC application and return it at the earliest possible date to the nearest unit of a National Park, National Forest, or national Fish and Wildlife Refuge or Hatchery. Note that additional positions throughout the country are currently being posted by the Corps Network—a partner of the National Park Service. Hint: regular park volunteers often get the first chance at paid summer positions.
Phoenix Bikes: This nonprofit organization relies on volunteer support to maintain both the education and retail components of the shop. Interns/volunteers must register with Arlington County’s Volunteer Department and agree to a criminal history check. For specific information on current openings, visit the Phoenix Bikes website.
Smithsonian Institution: The Smithsonian offers a variety of internships for individuals who are at least 16 years of age. A listing of fellowships and internships with application deadlines can be found at www.si.edu/ofg/intern.htm. Additional information can be found at www.smithsonian.org/interns. Note that there will definitely be volunteer opportunities for the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival.
TIC Summer Camp: Staff members enjoy creative independence, a stimulating and spirited atmosphere, and the camaraderie of peers. Apply online and be prepared to provide three references (past employers, teachers, or anyone who has seen you work with children—no relatives). TIC runs three day camps in the DC area.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: The CBP Explorer program offers opportunities for students between the ages of 14 and 21. Successful applicants must be in school, maintain at least a “C” grade average, and have an interest in law enforcement. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
U.S. Secret Service: The Student Intern Program provides unpaid academic study-related work assignments. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age at the time of appointment, U.S. citizens, and able to obtain a Top Secret clearance. If you have questions, please contact the Secret Service Recruitment Program at 202-406-5800.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation: A number of summer seasonal positions are still available in various areas of the Commonwealth. The will remain “open until filled.” For a complete listing, visit the DCR website.