Wellesley High School Work-Study Internships

What is the Work-Study Internship Program?

The Town of Wellesley Student Work-Study Internship Program is a joint venture between Wellesley High School (WHS), the Wellesley Youth Commission and A Path In The Woods Foundation, Inc.  The program provides employment opportunities and job skill training within Town of Wellesley departments to qualified high school students.  Although the work-study program at WHS has a long history the current retooled program with the internship component was started in 2010 as a means of addressing the potential marginalization of those students who are not sure what their plans are after graduation. 

The program is designed to provide job exposure to students who express an interest in entering the workforce directly after high school and who have been approved for the program by the Guidance and Counseling Department.

The emphasis of the program is on career and personal development, training, academic achievement and financial compensation.  The program allows students to experience the variety and quality of careers available in town government and local businesses.

After measuring the initial success of the program through a pilot period, job opportunities will also be sought in the private sector within the community.

Who can participate?

Students who wish to develop job skills related to their expressed fields of interest, particularly who have expressed an interest in working in the public sector and who meet the following criteria:

  1. Be enrolled in Wellesley High School and remain enrolled to participate.
  2. Received approval by the Director of the Guidance and Counseling Department and Youth Director
  3. Obtain parent or guardian permission to participate.
  4. Students under 18-years old must have a work-permit and social security number on file.

What town departments will participate?

Subject to change, but possible positions will be with: Youth Commission, Council on Aging, Engineering, Information Technology, Recreation, Fire, Police, Library and Finance Departments.

Why participate?

  • The student will receive work-study credits towards graduation (100+ hours = 6 credits and 60+ hours = 3 credits.)
  • The students will be paid at the equivalent of the state minimum wage ($8.00/ hour) for a set number of hours per week to be determined by department employing student, and student’s class schedule.
  • For town department jobs, the students will be temporary employees of the town.
  • The students will be encouraged to develop self-efficacy by identifying and evaluating their interests and abilities within the workplace while remaining enrolled at WHS.
  • Job placement will be based on job skill training opportunities, and career mentoring possibilities.
  • The town’s Human Resources Department will provide resume preparation and job interview training as part of the student’s employee orientation.

How does it work?

Students are identified for an internship based on expressed interest or referrals made by the Guidance and Counseling Department and/or school administration.  Once students are confirmed by the Director of Guidance and Counseling a referral will be made to the Youth Director, and a meeting to discuss employment opportunities with the student will be arranged. 

Students selected will work approximately 10-hours per week in a meaningful job assignment.  Some job rotation may be available within town departments depending on the department’s needs and the student’s skill level.  Work hours beyond the work-study assignment would be negotiated between the student and the employer.  Eventually, when the program includes private business opportunities, the hiring decision will shift to the private company.

All participating students will be required to maintain a journal on their job experience.  All students participating in the work-study program will be encouraged to provide counseling to other students who may be interested in the program.

The town’s Youth Director will be responsible for job placement, subject to approval by the town department manager, and general program administration and evaluation.

The WHS Guidance and Counseling Department, the town’s Youth Director, the town’s Director of Human Resources, and a representative from A Path InThe Woods Foundation will develop guidelines and policies for the internship program administration as required based on the experience gained during the pilot period.  The WHS Work-Study Internship Program is based on the mission, expectations, policies, and Code of Conduct of Wellesley High School as outlined in the Student Handbook and the Guidance and Counseling Department’s School-to-Career services resources.