• July 12th, 2024
  • Friday, 08:42:17 PM

Internships Provide Paid Opportunities for New Mexico Youth

The New Mexico Public Education Department is offering paid internships for high school students.



For the third summer in a row, the New Mexico Public Education Department is proud to share an opportunity for high school students across the state to learn on the job – and receive a paycheck.


Overseen by the College and Career Readiness Bureau, the 2023 Summer Enrichment Internship program is taking place in 30 government and tribal entities across the state. Earlier this year, the New Mexico Legislature approved $8 million for the initiative.


In 2022, the paid internships grew by 60% over the previous year. More than 500 community members hosted 2,100 high school and at-risk interns. The students spent up to 30 hours per week for six to 10 weeks with government agencies and community organizations, including county, tribal and municipal placements. Initial interest this spring likely means the program will continue to blossom this summer.


“This is the ideal time to engage our youth in these types of summer opportunities, helping them see how their education can lead them down career paths they never considered before,” said PED Secretary Arsenio Romero.


In Sandoval County, all 20 of its intern positions are filled already. The third summer in the program, types of jobs available will vary from office settings to outdoors.


“This is a great opportunity for our youth, because it allows them to gain the hands-on experience they will need in the workforce, meaning that they are learning to communicate and work as a team when needed,” said Ana T. Chávez, Sandoval County Human Resources analyst. “This also allows them to stay active and motivated throughout the summer while earning some money.”


To the south in Valencia County, officials anticipate 40 interns this summer, doing administrative and clerical assistance jobs in various departments. Some will distribute meals to seniors while others will walk dogs and interact with the public.


“This is a great opportunity to expose youth to the workings of local government and show the ‘soft skills’ that are needed to effectively serve constituents, while also obtaining trainings and certification that can follow them their entire career,” said Jeremias Silva, Valencia County Grants Director.


Still further south in Doña Ana County, where the program has taken root since it started in 2021, young people are considered county employees and are covered by workers’ compensation and insurance. They can earn up to $3,000 for the summer doing such things as working in offices, agriculture, hospitals, animal services, transportation companies, restaurants and catering, and non-profit settings.


Noted on the county’s website, starting this week, students are being placed based on their “interests and the needs of the organization.” The county will likely have more than 1,900 interns.


“Through this enrichment internship program, youth in Doña Ana County and across New Mexico have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop their skills alongside industry professionals and gain experience that will benefit them throughout their academic and professional careers,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Susana Chaparro.


For more information about the Summer Enrichment Internship Program, click here and here.