GGUSD and Orange County United Way Team Up to Offer Summer Internship Program

Los Amigos student Katherine Garcia is getting hands-on career experience at Healthy Smiles

More than 40 Garden Grove Unified School District students are engaging in a powerful summer internship experience through Orange County United Way’sYouth Career Connections program, which combines work-based learning with career experiences in a wide-range of professional industries. The internship program is a capstone course for incoming seniors enrolled in GGUSD’s high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Pathways.

“The Career Connections program aligns perfectly with our district’s mission of preparing students for lifelong success,” said Lan Nguyen, GGUSD Board of Education vice president. “A career internship is an invaluable opportunity for students to explore their interests and sharpen their skills in a way that’s just not possible in a classroom setting.”

Orange County United Way maximizes its relationships with local business leaders to provide GGUSD’s Career and Technical Education students with internship opportunities, as well as college scholarships, a bus pass, and workshops that help students gain workplace skills frequently used in a professional setting. The Orange County Department of Education Career Technical education partnership also helps secure industry partners and provides course content.

Students spend a week in the classroom with GGUSD CTE teachers to build communication, collaboration and research skills, work on their resumes, create LinkedIn profiles and hear from industry guest speakers. Two GGUSD teachers team-teach the class and make site visits to monitor students’ progress on the job.

The work-based internship takes place in July and students return to the classroom in August to reflect and present to their classmates about what they learned. At the completion of the of the program, students earn 10 credits and CTE completion certificates.

The internship opportunities cover a wide range of industry sectors including arts, media, and entertainment, engineering and architecture, health services and medical technology and information and computer technology. Employers with GGUSD interns include Active Learning, Bob’s Auto, CIELO, Healthy Smiles for Kids, Martinez Insurance, Santori Law Group, Thomas House Family Shelter, UCI Medical Center, and Ware Malcomb, among others.

This is the third year GGUSD has offered an internship program and the second year partnering with Orange County United Way’s Youth Career Connections.