• Internship, Mentoring & Leadership Programs

    Trying on a career is the best way to determine if it’s the right path for you.

    Below we’ve provided some of the opportunities that come across our desk and that past Ida B Wells-Barnett students have found to be beneficial to their professional skill development and postsecondary planning. Please note that some programs show previous recruitment timeframes and deadlines. Check the organization’s website to see current information. 

    Don’t see anything that interests you? Please visit our Career Exploration page or schedule an appointment with Ms. Wade.


    iUrban Teen Internships: iUrban Teen is a STEM+Arts education program that brings together underrepresented teens and young adults for career exploration and mentoring. 

    ELSO's (Experience Life Science Outdoors) mission is to teach and frame STEAM and nature based education through a lens that centers and elevates the stories, ways of knowing, individual needs, and lived experiences of Black and Brown communities. They offer numerous stipended programs including Tappin Roots a year long internship program for Black identifying youth and the opportunity to serve on seasonal (Recruits for Fall, Winter & Spring) Your Street Your Voice Cohorts, where students use design as a tool for racial justice and to serve their communities, and EmpowHER Cohorts, which explores topics of health & wellness, education, STEM, economics, community development, and public policy.

    Tappin' Roots Black Nature Educators Internship: A paid 12-month environmental internship program for Black identified high school students in the Portland Metro region sponsored by Metro and Tappin Roots in partnership with ELSO Inc., B.E.A.M. Village, The Blueprint Foundation and Friends of Tryon Creek. Interns will work at one of these sites and receive training to empower the next generation of environmental leaders who can bring Black Oregonians closer to nature, and closer to their cultural history. Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend.

    PACE Mentoring Program: P.A.C.E. is an after-school program organized by PPS Career & Technical Education that connects students to the professional construction trades. Students learn from field professionals in the areas of carpentry, electric, sheet metal and plumbing about the work done in the trades and explore career fields within the industry. Past recruitment timeframe: December

    Architecture, Construction & Engineering (ACE) Mentor of Oregon: Juniors & Seniors interested in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering gain hands on experience, build a professional network, and compete in teams for scholarship money. Last year $72,000 in scholarships was awarded. This no-cost after-school program will meet virtually from January-May 2020 and gives students the opportunity to work directly with practicing professionals in the ACE fields. Past recruitment: October/November

    Pacific NW Carpenters Institute Construction Trades Internship: Multi-faceted, 8-week presentation of various subjects related to carpentry and the construction industry. Students in WHS Construction Program. Past recruitment timeframe: April/May

    Saturday Academy Apprenticeship in Science and Engineering: ASE Program matches bright, motivated high school students with professional scientists and engineers for eight-week, full-time summer internships. Students assist mentors with research and other activities, learning first-hand about science and engineering careers in the process. Interns attend two full-day conferences during the summer, gaining additional exposure to diverse careers in scientific and engineering fields, and developing skills that will serve them well in technical careers.  ASE is part of Saturday Academy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Past recruitment: December/January

    Invention Bootcamp at Portland State University: 4-week summer camp under the guidance of PSU faculty and students. No prior experience is required in order to apply or participate. Anyone can become an inventor when given the right tools. Invention Bootcamp recognizes that students of color, women, low-income, and first-generation college students are historically underrepresented in STEM undergraduate programs. Invention Bootcamp is committed to reversing this trend and strongly encourages high school students from the above historically underserved and underrepresented backgrounds in STEM to apply. The applications for the 2021 camp have not opened yet.  Past recruitment: December-March

    OMSI: Various opportunities for students during school and over summer including
    Outdoor Science Apprentice Instructor - Hancock Field Station and Pacific Marine Science Camp. Camp Counselor/Instructor. You will work with instructors to teach environmental education topics and eventually teach by yourself. Room and board plus pay is provided during the program.
    Science Squad - You’ll balance your time on the museum floor with training in communication, informal education, and leadership skills to give you the background you need to be a successful museum educator. In this position you must commit to working two 4-hour shifts per week for the summer session, or one 4-hour shift per week during the school year session.
    Feeling creative? Propose an OMSI internship. How? Send a letter of interest describing your goals—including your desired time commitment and a proposed schedule—along with your resume and internship application here.

    City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Summer Intern: High school students entering 11th or 12th grade in the fall and current spring high school graduates are invited to apply for one of eight internship opportunities with the bureau. The student cohort is an 8-week paid internship that includes office work, field work, trainings, and professional development. This is a great opportunity to learn more about careers in the fields of natural resources, environmental sciences, pollution prevention, and public service. Past recruitment: March/April

    Portland General Electric Internship Program: Opportunities vary. Students must be 18 years of age and a HS graduate who is college or trade bound.  

    Free Geek: Free Geek offers a variety of unpaid internships to those who have the time and interest to work outside of our two introductory volunteer programs. Interns volunteer on a set schedule, learn valuable skill sets and play a vital role in the health of Free Geek as an organization. These are competitive, challenging and highly valued positions. While we cannot pay our volunteer interns, we can offer job skills training, letters of reference, professional feedback, and resume assistance. Due to the nature of these volunteer opportunities, we ask that all applicants be 16 or older. Ongoing recruitment.

    ChickTech Portland: High school program for 9-12th grades to encourage STEM education and careers in tech to female-identifying, transgender, and non-binary students. The program combines mentorship and technical workshops. Past recruitment: September by nomination of teacher.

    Step Into Tech Internship with OpenSesame: Current Juniors and Seniors can apply to a paid internship program to expose students from underserved communities to our local tech companies. Candidates must have a great attitude and willingness to learn, demonstrated reliability and strong interest in working in business or tech, the ability to work 3-5 hours per week, and a passion to learn and grow your skills. Email StepIntoTech@opensesame.com 

    The Oregon Maple Project is seeking dedicated high school and college interns interested in learning the art of Bigleaf Maple sugaring and assisting with all aspects of our operations at Camp Colton. This is a unique opportunity for those who love the outdoors, hands-on work, local food, teaching, and community ventures. We will be selecting two volunteer interns to collaborate with us for a full year, from June 2021-June 2022. Interns should be prepared to work 10 hours per month, often on weekends, and will need to provide their own transportation to our location in Colton, Oregon. Responsibilities will include: tapping trees, chopping wood, setting up sap collection lines, finishing sugar shack construction, harvesting sap, firing the evaporator, cleaning equipment, maintaining trails, hosting visitors, designing outreach efforts, and developing curriculum. To apply, please email a letter of interest and resume to Eliza (info@oregonmapleproject.org) by May 1, 2021.

    Health Sciences Professions

    PSU Pre-Health and Mentorship Program (PHAM): Sponsored by the PSU Chapter of American Medical Women’s Association for High School youth. This program matches high school students interested in the medical professions with PSU students involved in the campus chapter of AMWA. Together PSU and Wilson HS students gain exposure to healthcare professionals and hands on experiences. Meetings will take place on Monday evenings beginning in October on the PSU campus. Past recruitment: August/September

    Coalition of Community Health Clinics (CCHC): seeks students interested in building knowledge and experience in community health. CCHC serves people who are underinsured or low-income. Resume and cover letter (or questions) to CCHC program manager:  genevieve.ellis@coalition-clinics.org 


    Oregon School-Based Health Alliance Student Health Advocates: stipended leadership opportunity for young people, ages 14-22, in the Portland Metro area who are interested in becoming a voice not only for their own health but for the health of their peers and community. Past recruitment timeframe: September-October


    Oregon Health & Science University: 
    For summer internships, begin your search here. For research opportunities, follow this process:

    • Visit OHSU website www.ohsu.edu to identify two-three areas of interest to you (a dept., research program, specific lab or specific scientist):
    • Prepare a resume in Word, including related coursework,  research or scientific experience, your goals.
    • State your availability.
    • The Office of Science Education Opportunities (SEO) scied@ohsu.edu can provide contact info for specific individuals or departments. Contact the department directly.  

    The Partnership for Scientific Inquiry (PSI): Attention Sophomores and Juniors! The PSI Program introduces high school students to the scientific process, encourages student participation in science competitions, and fosters a relationship between researchers and the local community. Program participants meet Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. (February-May) for a lecture series and to learn about ongoing research projects conducted by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University. Each student will be mentored by a researcher and gain firsthand knowledge of research methods, and, with their mentor's help, will present a published research article in journal club format and develop their own research proposal. Please note: no guarantee of summer internship due to COVID restrictions. Interested students should discuss the possibility of applying with their school counselor. Students must submit an application and arrange for one letter of recommendation sent by the application deadline of December 21, 2020. 

    Ted R. Lilley Cancer CURE Program  A paid internship that matches students with a cancer-specific researcher. Interns work full-time for eight weeks in a research lab alongside OHSU scientists conducting cancer research. The 2020 Summer CURE Research Program is scheduled for Thursday, June 18 through Friday, August 7, 2020. CURE interns will be selected in February. Interns will work a maximum of 40 hours per week, $10 per hour + Trimet pass. Info in the Career Center. Student applications are due Friday, December 20, 2019.

    Kaiser Permanente Youth Exploration Academy in Healthcare - KP YEAH! is a PAID, four-week-long, interactive exploration program for high school students. The program focuses on providing high school students with exposure to Kaiser Permanente's integrated healthcare system while promoting access to higher education, career readiness and introduction to various healthcare pathways. Learn more about how to apply, eligibility, and student selection criteria here. Deadline January 31, 2020.

    ADVENTIST Student Healthcare Leaders (SHL) gives high school students an introduction to the abundant and diverse career opportunities available in health care. This 10-week after-school program uses interactive explorations and panel discussions to help young people explore health care, become enlightened about what it includes and engage with health care professionals. Free for the selected participants. The program takes place at Adventist Health Portland Medical Center. Evening meals are provided during class. Recruits for 3 cohorts every year: Fall term, Spring term, and Summer term

    Business & Entrepreneurship

    Enterprise Academy: For more than 30 years, the Rotary Club of Portland has provided the opportunity for high school students to explore the challenges and opportunities of our free enterprise system and the dynamics of the business world through Enterprise Academy. This innovative weekend retreat allows students to interact with successful business people and to participate in highly informative and enjoyable team projects. Camp Kuratli, Boring Oregon (transportation provided). Past recruitment: Jan/February. Save the date: March 4th-6th, 2022.

    TiE Young Entrepreneur Program Now Accepting Applications Are you interested in business and entrepreneurship? Do you want to participate in a team to create your own startup while getting guidance from a dedicated professional mentor? The TiE Young Entrepreneur (TYE) program is for you! The TYE 2020 cohort of Portland area HS youth will run from October 2020 through May 2021 with sessions held every other Sunday. Program payment of $295 is due within two weeks of receiving an offer of acceptance; scholarships available. Past recruitment: September

    Public Safety & Law Enforcement
    Portland Fire and Rescue Fire Camp:  a fire training camp for women ages 16-20. This 3 1/2 day camp is an opportunity to experience the unique aspects of being a firefighter. Work stations will include search and rescue, Jaws of Life operation, climbing the aerial ladder, fire hose operation and forcing doors. Young women will also learn about nutrition, physical fitness, interview skills, Emergency Medical Services and gain CPR certification.

    Portland Fire Explorer Program:  The Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Cadet Program provides the opportunity for young men and women, ages 16 to 20, to become familiar with career opportunities available in the fire service. Through classroom instruction, hands-on training, and volunteer work, Explorers are provided a base of knowledge and experience that will benefit them not only in fire service careers but also in all future endeavors. The program is designed to encourage and promote accountability, being safe, communication, teamwork, fitness and develop leadership skills. The Explorer Program is a subsidiary of the Learning for Life organization. The mission statement for Learning for Life is to enable young people to become responsible individuals by teaching positive character traits, career development, leadership, and life skills so they can make moral choices and achieve their full potential. 

    Portland Police Cadet Program: Designed to offer young men and women firsthand experience and training in the field of law enforcement while working individually or as a team to develop confidence and leadership skills that benefits any career choice. The Cadet program looks to achieve these goals through mentorship, classroom instruction, and hands-on training during Spring weekly on Sundays. You must be 16 years old by January 31st, maintain a 2.0GPA or higher, clean criminal record, possess or obtain a driver’s license, and be able to pass a background check. To learn more, download an application This program is ON-HOLD until further notice.

    Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications 

    Pamplin Media Group through a partnership with Oregon Cares is offering part-time, paid summer internships to high school journalists in the Portland metro region. The interns will receive mentorship and training from professional journalists and Portland Tribune/Pamplin Media Group staff. The program aims to elevate and amplify the voices of students from historically underrepresented communities. Students of color, low-income students and members of other underrepresented groups are eligible to apply. Application. Past recruitment: March/April

    Young Audiences Live SET offers a cohort of 10 students an opportunity to spend three separate weekends in a premier Portland music venue learning the basics of sound engineering with professionals in the field. After a series of more informational and hands on practice days, the students participate in a sound check day with a live musicians, and then fully engineer a free all-ages concert that is open to the public on the final day. Seasonal cohorts. 

    Friends of Noise supports creative youth in Portland through all ages concerts, workshops, and experience navigating the music scene.

    Bodecker Foundation Led by professional artists, writers, musicians, and educators, our FREE creative workshops for high school students include a mix of online group activities and offline individual and/or collaborative project work. Class size is generally limited to 12 students.

    Open Signal Seasonal Cohorts - Media production and storytelling - Whether you're an experienced filmmaker or just starting your creative journey, our cohorts help see your project from storyboard to final cut. Work one-on-one with an Open Signal facilitator to determine what kind of support you'll need, through training, equipment check-outs and biweekly check-ins. 

    Portland Center Stage Youth classes and Teen Council. Rolling recruitment

    SneakerWeek - Save the date: August 4th-10th, 2022

    NW Filmmakers’ Festival Intern/Volunteer
    This is an unpaid position for either a Festival Intern (for currently enrolled students) or Volunteer who will develop a working knowledge of the independent film arts by assisting in the production and promotion of one of the country's largest and oldest regional film festivals, the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.


    Government/Law, Advocacy & Civic Leadership

    Bank of America Student Leaders Bank of America recognizes high school students who lead and serve in their own communities and beyond. We connect Student Leaders to tools and resources to help make communities better. As a Student Leader, you will work as a paid intern at a local nonprofit for eight weeks; attend the week-long Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.; develop leadership and career skills; connect with like-minded students from your own community and across the country. Must be a current High School Junior or Senior. Apply by January 29, 2021.

    Haggerty Scholars Program sponsored by the Federal Bar Association Oregon Chapter: Current high school juniors with an interest in law and civil rights apply in Spring for their Senior year. Students must be willing to attend the annual FBA Oregon Chapter dinner in late May with a parent or teacher, meet with an attorney mentor on a regular basis, visit legal workplaces during one week in August, and attend law and civil rights events during their Senior year. Submit application by end of March.

    Multnomah Youth Commission, the official youth policy body for both Multnomah County and the City of Portland, is a group of young people, ages 13-21, that strives to provide a voice for youth in the County & City's work. No experience or GPA requirement. Only a desire to serve. Past recruitment timeframe: March/April

    World Oregon Young Leaders in Action, a network of engaged, resourceful and activated youth leaders in Oregon who are High School sophomores, juniors or seniors and possess the confidence and skills to be contributing members of their own communities and the broader world. The program is built on four key program goals: Gaining a Global Perspective; Developing Leadership Skills; Building Intercultural Connections; and Taking Action on Critical Issues. Stipended leadership position. Past recruitment timeframe: April-early September

    Momentum Alliance Youth Advocacy Cohorts (opportunities vary)

    United States Senate Youth Program, for high school juniors and seniors interested in careers in public service, history or political science. For the 2020-21 school year, two Oregon delegates will receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies and attend a one-week, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. on March 6-13, 2021. Must be nominated by their high school principal or designated school official to apply for the program. The state application will be available on Oregon’s U.S. Senate Youth Program webpage by late summer and typically due to the Oregon Department of Education by mid-October.