Deborah Karson @deobrahjkarson

Invest in the Future

Apprentice Learning provides real-world work experiences for middle school students. We leverage career exploration to teach skills and to nurture dreams.

“Apprenticing at Frugal Bookstore helped me learn work ethic and taught me to work smarter. Being on time, working hard and not complaining are important. Mrs. Egerton, you worked me to the bone but it made sense because you worked hard too. I will always remember you saying, “You can’t half-do anything. You have to finish what you started.” Aneshia, eighth grader, apprentice at Frugal Bookstore

Career education has proven to be an effective way of exposing young people to a wide variety of opportunities and can positively impact their graduation from high school and long-term employment prospects.

Since 2012, we have provided career skills and experiences for over 900 eighth graders who attend Boston Public Schools. The program demographics mirror the population of the students enrolled in Boston Public Schools. Ninety percent of students identify as non-white and the majority are from under-resourced communities. Many are English Language Learner students.

Learn to Earn

We provide youth with a successful first work experience that builds confidence and competence, and prepares students for meaningful, paid employment before they enter high school. On average, 40% of eighth graders who complete an apprenticeship land a paying summer job before high school.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to provide career experiences.  As we navigate through these ever-changing times, we follow the guidelines set by our partner schools.  For all of us, this has been a very creative process involving the active participation of our youth. We have been pleased with the new ways we have imagined the world of work.

Our staff have been designated as essential staff at our partner schools and teach classroom workshops where youth learn concrete self-presentation and communication skills, gain insights about their individual learning styles, identify their signature strengths, create their first resume and a video introduction of their skills, and explore career interests with worksite partners.

Our Programs

Workplace Explorations

Ignite purpose with career discovery at your workplace.


Teaching content and situations related to the demands of real life.


Paid job skills internship for alums

City Summer Internship

Demystifying Boston’s skyline for Boston’s next generation of women leaders in the workplace.

In 2020-2021, 179 eighth graders across 5 schools participated in hybrid apprenticeships with 17 workplaces in greater Boston.

American Student Assistance
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
City of Boston
The Cummings Foundation
Eugene F. Fay Trust

Fish Family Foundation
FLHB Bank Boston
George Garretson Wade Charitable Trust II


The Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation
Vanderbilt Family Foundation
Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation
Wild Geese Foundation
Women4Progress Charitable Trust

Deborah Karson for her photography (@deborahjkarsonphotography)

Join us in igniting the dreams of middle schools in Boston. Your contributions go directly to students’ needs and enable us to run our programs.

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