People’s Prep, Newark’s only independent public charter high school, announced today that a series of the city’s key anchor institutions, including the Abbott Leadership Institute, Minuteman Press, the New Community Corporation, and others, have joined the school’s unique internship program. Since the school’s inception in 2011, the initiative has provided its students with valuable off-campus opportunities, a greater understanding of workplace expectations, and has served as a national model of collaboration between public schools and the local community. Today’s announcement brings a total of over 20 partnerships involved in the initiative, joining other already established Newark institutions, such as United Way, NJPAC, Newark Public Library, and City of Newark’s Department of Law.
Each year, around forty-five students of the 380-member student body at People’s Prep are matched with a trained teacher advisor and work with a specific strategic community partner. Students work twenty hours each week for the entire school year from September to June. Upon conclusion of the program, participating students must develop and give a presentation that defines their experience for the whole student body and complete a capstone project for their employers, proposing a solution to a specific work-related challenge. Successfully completing the program earns students high school credit and is a graduation requirement for honors students at People’s Prep.
“People’s Prep is thrilled that Newark’s key organization and institutions are embracing our internship program and committing themselves to Newark students,” stated People’s Prep Founder, Jess Rooney. “Thanks to the effort and trust of businesses and institutions around the Newark area, our internship initiative has become a national model of collaboration between public schools and local communities. Each year, by joining together, our program continues to grow, providing students with opportunities and support that match any suburb and valuable hands-on, off-campus experiences. Our strategic partners are not only committed to mentoring our students, but also developing their professional skills, work ethic, and sharing industry-specific knowledge. Most of all, this city-wide collaboration is ensuring that students in Newark are giving back to their city and becoming prepared and focused on developing a career, rather than just finding a job.”
“In Newark, there is a need to provide our students with experiences that build their social capital and prepare them for success beyond high school,” stated Abbott Leadership Institute Executive Director Kaleena Berryman. “We appreciate the commitment, dedication, and love People’s Prep has for its hometown of Newark, and we are excited to participate in this thoughtful, proven, world-class internship program.”
“The internship program was an amazing opportunity for me and my personal development,” stated People’s Prep Alumni, Angel Class. “As a current freshman at Rutgers-Newark, I have come to understand how it is a significant distinguisher in what makes People’s Prep so special. I wish every public school student in Newark were provided the opportunity I had at People’s Prep and so happy to see this program being embraced by the city.”
The following lists the newly defined strategic partners for the People’s Prep internship program:
- Abbott Leadership Institute – Rutgers Newark based initiative that has empowered, educated and supported thousands of Newark parents, students, educators, and community advocates with effective methods of family engagement in Newark’s public schools.
- Betty Lee Jean’s Kitchen – a Newark-based restaurant who profits support the JamGo Community Development Center, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides the Newark community with cultural, educational, recreational, and social development initiatives that enhance the quality of life for youth, families, and communities.
- Leaders 4 Life – a Newark non-profit that works to ensure city residents have ample exposure to needed educational resources that exist within the community.
- Minuteman Press – a Newark-based small business specializing in digital design, creative services, and assistance in marketing and printing.
- New Community Corporation – a Newark based not-for-profit focused on community organizing, resident participation and providing a variety of needed community-enhancing service.
- 12 Comics – a Newark nonprofit offering both online and in class after school support programs for Newark students.