For Prospective Interns:
The Selection Process
Six interns with developmental disabilities between the ages of 18-25 are selected for each session. Sessions range from 6-weeks to 12-weeks. Programming occurs Monday-Friday from 8:30 am-2:30 pm. There is an application and an interview process. To learn of open programs or to download the application, visit News.
The job training process is both thoughtful and supported. Our team works with area businesses to develop individual training positions for our students to learn. They spend at least two hours in their departments each day gaining transferable work skills. Our team of special educators also serve as their on-site vocational job coaches; we provide individualized supports, individualized accommodations, and individualized care. And with every success or mastered goal, we know that our students are that much closer to realizing their value, as is the larger community.
While job training helps our graduates find employment, our instruction is what helps them maintain employment. Interns spend over half of their day in a classroom setting on-site at the host business. We provide direct instruction in work-readiness concepts that align with the Virginia Department of Education's standards for transition:
- Work Readiness Skills: resume writing, developing career portfolios, time management, interviewing skills, etc.
- Social Skills: eye contact, reading body language, asking follow up conversations, topics to avoid at work, etc.
- Life Skills: budgeting, money skills, independent living, transportation, etc.
Through partnerships, we can provide both the transferable work experiences and the education necessary to empower these young people to reach their potential. Everyone deserves the opportunity to work. We are currently looking for business and organizational partnerships to help us meet this dire need in our community.
Businesses can either host our interns (open their doors to one or more session each year for daily programming) or sponsor internship participation (cover the tuition expenses for one or more intern). Both types of partnerships are needed for each session.
Current Host Companies
First Row, LtoR: Quirk Hotel, Wells Fargo, The Virginia Rep Theater, The Renaissance. Second Row, LtoR: The Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Ledbury, The University of Richmond, The YMCA of Greater Richmond.
Host Company Benefits
While our students make tremendous gains, the host organization does as well. Host site employees have reported in surveys and interviews that our interns add to the productivity, diversity, and culture of their organizations. The relationships that these employees form with our students are transformative – opening minds and hearts to what individuals with disabilities are capable of in the community. Best of all, there is no cost or risk for organizations to participate.