Thank you, Cummings Foundation!

City Summer Interns at NorthStar Asset Management

We are so thrilled to receive a second year of generous funding from The Cummings Foundation.  Thank you, Bill and Joyce Cummings, Joel Swets and Joyce Vyriotes and all of the Cummings employees and volunteers who donate time to support the great work of social service and educational organizations across the region. Your support makes our work possible and we are more effective thanks to this very special grant.

What is My Learning Zone?

Model for Comfort, Learning and Panic Zones

Before an apprenticeship, we build students’ self-awareness with a variety of learning activities to help them understand their strengths, learning styles, interests and skills and how they can utilize their traits during their apprenticeships. This helps students overcome their nervousness and fear of “messing up.”

The “Comfort Zone Model” describes three zones that are common in any new learning situation: the comfort zone, the challenge zone, and the panic zone.  By explaining to the students that learning most often happens in the challenge zone, where one feels uncomfortable, nervous, and challenged, we help to them prepare for the “first day” nervousness they will feel at their apprenticeships.

As students recognize this uncomfortable feeling is a normal part of the learning process, it reminds them to activate the skills they practiced in the classroom to make the most of their workplace experience. Ary, from Jackson/Mann School, describes her experience at Brookline Booksmith as follows:

“Before my apprenticeship began I felt very nervous.  I was feeling nerves because I never had work experience before, and I felt it was going to be very challenging and new for me.  Now, I feel that my time at Brookline Booksmith is very helpful and fun, the people are very nice, and I learned so much there.” 

Encouraged by their mentors during the six weeks of apprenticeship, it becomes easier to move out of their comfort zone to the challenge zone.  As a young person gains confidence at the workplace, it is easier to embrace future challenge zones, including being successful in a paying summer job and beyond.

APPLY NOW! City Summer Internship 2019

Apprentice Learning’s City Summer is a program for young women entering ninth grade that uses workplace experiences to develop mindsets for future success and improves engagement in the classroom by making concrete connections between personal success and career achievement.


Using the rich array of businesses and organizations in Boston, City Summer Internship guides interns the exploration their interests and strengths and provides real world opportunities to build work readiness skills in communication, self-presentation and leadership. Partner organizations host interns at their workplace for engaging activities that model the culture of the organization and offer an opportunity to learn about the career field while interacting with professionals in the field. Partners have included, the MBTA, Suffolk Construction, Foley Hoag LLC, Commonwealth Kitchen, Hollister Institute, NorthStar Asset Management, and Menton Restaurant.

If you are a City Summer Intern Alumni, you are eligible to be a Peer Leader in the program. Please complete the on-line application form HERE.

Program Goals
1. Gain knowledge of local career opportunities and the steps it takes to get there.
2. Practice essential job readiness skills.
3. Narrow the opportunity gap by building wider social networks for participants.
4. Transition successfully to high school.

Program Objectives
1. Learn and practice the positive work habits essential to school and career success.
2. Provide academic enrichment to strengthen skills.
3. Use local businesses as workplace classrooms to create access and opportunity.
4. Provide a positive work experience for students.

City Summer Internship will hire 23 rising ninth graders (entering ninth grade in fall 2019). Interns will earn a weekly stipend of $85 per week from Apprentice Learning for meeting professional expectations. Additionally, two Peer Leaders will be hired from Program Alumnae.

Program Recruitment:
Eligible students include any rising ninth grade young woman who:
1. Completed an Apprentice Learning apprenticeship
2. Attends an Apprentice Learning partner school and is recommended by his/her teacher.
3. Is a resident of the City of Boston with preference given to low-income communities.

Program Dates: Monday, July 8 – August 9, 2019 (5 weeks)
Schedule: 9 am – 1 pm M-T-F, 9 am – 3 pm W – TH. Breakfast provided from 8:30-9:00 am.
Location: Urban College, 2 Boylston Street, Boston, 02116
Accessible by MBTA via the Orange Line, Green Lines, Silver and Red Line


Family Business

Apprentice Learning has been around long enough that we have a few legacies. Like the Delgado family. Miguel did an apprenticeship in 2016 at MicroSoft and now has found solid footing as a designer with Artists for Humanity, blending his love of computers with his love of art. His younger brother, Adrian, is currently apprenticing at Ferris Wheels Bike Shop. He likes it so much and feels so much a part of the crew, tat he has asked if he can show up on Saturdays, too.

The secret sauce? Family engagement. Mary Delgado credits Apprentice Learning with creating new opportunities and vistas for her boys. But she has been an equal partner. During the matching process, we discussed ideas Adrian's placement and together, determined that the bike shop was a great fit. Mary even dropped by the bike shop at the end of Adrian's shift to see him at work. Mary and her boys attended our recent Skyline event and spoke about her experience with our program.

Family voices matter. We know our students will go further with all of us lending a hand.

Thank you Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation!

Steve Melo presents a check for $10,000 to Apprentice Learning board member Cinqué Dunham-Carson to support City Summer Internship.

When we opened our first bank account to launch Apprentice Learning, Eastern Bank in Ashmont was our choice for a community bank. We were warmly welcomed by Roxann Cooke, who is now Senior Vice President and Regional Manager.

Eastern Bank has supported Apprentice Learning’s growth as a banking partner and as a funder. We are thrilled to announce this $10,000 award in support women and girls, for our City Summer Internship program for rising ninth grade girls.

One of the Gems: A Thank You from a City Summer Intern

Each week, City Summer Interns visit as least one business to step into the shoes of a career professional. Interns write a letter with their reflections. Dyimond, a 2018 intern, wrote the following letter to NorthStar Asset Management:

Dyimond (foreground) works with her team to brainstorm.Dear NorthStar Asset Management,

Thank you for teaching me the ways of a financial advisor and what your jobs consist of. What I enjoyed the most was learning about income and budgeting. I enjoyed this the most because I know I have been taught an important life lesson that is never supposed to be forgotten. I say this a lot; that there are some life lessons that shouldn’t be forgotten but this is one of the gems of life that should stay with you for your entire life.

Whenever I felt that I'd learned something new I would write it down on the sticky notes you gave us. For example, income and expenses, understanding the difference between wants vs. needs, fixed vs. variable expenses, and last but not least, S.M.A.R.T goals and what the purpose of those are. I just kept thinking about my future and what lies ahead. These newly learned concepts give me a sense reassurance. The reason it gives me a sense of reassurance is that I know in the future I will be prepared for any challenge that comes my way. 

My experience at your workplace will help me in the future because I learned what the real world is like and why being very proactive when it comes to taking care of your money is an important aspect of life. I had learned that S.M.A.R.T goals mean how to be prepared and ready for the things that come along with becoming an adult. I just kept thinking be calm and prepare, you will be okay. Now I finally know I will be fine when the future comes. 

Thank you once again for the amazing opportunity to come and listen to your life stories also learn from you. Learning about what your jobs as financial advisors consists of at NorthStar is great. This site is an outstanding place for students to visit especially for students who have a plan for the future due to the fact that every plan involves time, planning, and money. That is where you as financial advisors come in. Thank you for existing.


Dyimond H.

Dyimond lives in Roxbury and attended, the Jackson/Mann School,an Apprentice Learning’s partner school. She will be a ninth graders this fall at City on a Hill. NorthStar Asset Management is located in Jamaica Plain and has been a worksite partner since 2015.

Goals and Dreams: It’s All About Action

Taylor Norman, Apprentice Learning Program Coordinator at the Boston Teachers Union School was invited to give a parting speech to the eighth grade class. We were inspired and wanted to share her words.

As you launch into high school, you will have a chance to choose your friends, choose your interests, and choose what path you will take. Although these choices aren’t permanent, make sure you’re building a firm and steady foundation. You have the option to start over and be who you want to be, without questions, or maybes. So use that opportunity and take action. Don’t wait for the approval of your peers, because they’re figuring it out, just as you are. Make your plan and ask for help. Tell them about your plan of action, and that you can’t do it alone.

I’ve helped many of you explore your career interests and earn an apprenticeships and summer jobs through Apprentice Learning. As that process unfolded, I got to learn more about each of you, and what makes you so unique. Like the fact that the majority of you like white bread because wheat bread is too crumbly. Some students like to blurt out their answers, while others refused to answer when called upon. How many of you like to help adults but don’t like being told what to do by adults. About ½ of you like an even layer of Mayonnaise on both slices of the bread while others like a big glob of Mayo on ONE side…

But what made you even more similar, was the fact that each of you had goals and dreams to be someone different, and to be a better version of your 6th grade self, or your 7th grade self. And even for the few students that I’ve met for the first time this year, better versions of your 8th grade selves.

Each year you made improvements, through action. And I’ve watched. We’ve watched.
I remember many of you saying, “Ms. T, I’m going to be in your class next year because I want a summer job. Just wait!” So I waited. We’ve waited. Not for the opportunity to get you employed for the summer, but for the lifetime of opportunities that await you…when you realize that you don’t need us as much as you did before.

Getting up for school every day, completing those assignments, making a pact to stay after school with your friends so you can all receive tutoring, supporting the one person in your crew who may have needed to attend. That demonstrates empathy, teamwork, proper planning, care, and commitment. You’ve stuck together, refusing to leave your classmates or friends behind. But keep in mind, it’s all about action.

Taylor (L) and Caleb (R) during a Workplace Exploration at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Meet Bill Russell: the Statue

Thanks, Aaron Horne, Sienna DeSantis and Tim Smith, Trinity Financial staff professionals who are introducing the field of commercial real estate development to our apprentices. Their education begins with sharpening their observation skills by getting to know their own city.

Fabio, Styvenson, Armani and Solomon navigated their way through the Batterymarch District, visited the Greenway, saw seals at the New England Aquarium, walked through Fanueil Hall, and visited City Hall for the first time.

And they know Bill Russell, Boston’s basketball great but have never known about his statue on City Hall Plaza. Thanks Trinity, for introducing Bill Russell, the statue.

Alumnus Aimed for Success: Shantel Mercedes

Shantel is an alumnus from Apprentice Learning’s first year of the program at the Mission Hill School in 2013. Four years later, Shantel is entering her senior year at Fenway High School. Through our First Jobs component, Shantel applied, interviewed and was accepted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Summer Science Academy during the spring of her eighth grade year. Summer Science Academy, as the name indicates, is a program that exposes students to health careers and. Shantel is now focused on a medical career in college.

We are so proud to share a recent feature about Shantel in Brigham and Women’s 2015 Annual Report. Read Shantel’s story here:
Shantel Mercedes

Summer Science Academy: Eight Apprentices Accepted!

Apprentices examine blood samples at the New England Baptist Hospital.
Apprentices examine blood samples at the New England Baptist Hospital.

Each year, apprentices interested in science and health careers can “try out” these careers with our work site partners including New England Baptist Hospital. But our end goal is to help students find engaging summer internships and experiences to further their skills and interests. For the past four months, we have been helping apprentices apply to a variety of programs.

One program, Summer Science Academy, is especially successful for our apprentices. We have 18 alums currently working as paid interns in this multiyear pathway program. But it all starts with Summer Science Academy. The program is geared for rising ninth graders and is the brainchild of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Center for Community Health and Health Equity. It is a rigorous and competitive application process that includes a written essay, report card submission, and an interview. This year eight apprentices were accepted to the program.

Here’s a description of this year’s program from the Center for Community Health and Health Equity newsletter:

Summer Science Academy 2016 Theme: Stress Reduction

Our Summer Science Academy (SSA) program is about to begin. SSA is an intensive science instructed program that offers science and health related classes, workshops, field trips, and the opportunity to work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital over the summer vacation to rising high school freshmen. The program aims to create exposure to the field of health and science related higher education and careers.

Each year the six week program follows a theme that guides the structure of the lessons. This year, the theme is stress reduction. The program will focus on empowering adolescent students by helping them understand stress in neurological, physiological, and biological aspects. The common belief that continual elevated stress levels affects adolescent behavior serves as major factor for the program to help students learn to combat stress effectively. Most of the students who participate in the program reside within the priority neighborhoods of Boston. It is understood that people who live in low-income neighborhoods experience higher levels of stress than their peers who do not.

Enhancing the youth’s understanding of stress, where it originates, and how to deal with it will contribute to the overall greater health and success of the students. With assistance from the Benson Henry Institute, the students will have four sessions focused on stress reduction strategies and coping methods. The lessons will also cover important but less talked about factors of stress such as, test taking and its relation to stress, and dealing with stress within relationships.

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