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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.

Introducing our Intern, Rebekah Lyon, College for Social Innovation


As AL expands to more schools and serves more students, interns play a crucial role in supporting program operations with teaching, administrative tasks and special projects. Apprentice Learning has been generously supported by volunteers from Boston University, Northeastern University and the College for Social Innovation, a semester-long internships for college students. Rebekah has joined us for 30 hours a week and is receiving college credit for her experience.

Hello! I am a second semester sophomore studying Psychology and Hospitality at the University of New Hampshire. This semester, I am excited to be working at Apprentice Learning as a Program Intern. I am living in Boston and interning at AL by way of a program called Semester in the City at the College for Social Innovation (CfSI).

For the next few months, I’ll be completing coursework for CfSI, supplemented by my field experience at Apprentice Learning. This semester, I look forward to exploring the city, making new connections, and getting to know the students.

I am very excited that CfSI matched me with Apprentice Learning because I’m passionate about work that focuses on community development and was hoping to engage with Boston’s youth during my time here. I grew up in Connecticut in a family where civic and community engagement felt as innate as breathing.

Although my time at Apprentice Learning has just begun, I’m already very inspired by the work the organization is doing. Giving Boston’s students the tools they need in order to succeed in the workforce as well as inspiring a sense of purpose is something I find very important. I am thrilled to be contributing to Apprentice Learning’s work in Boston Public Schools this semester! —Rebekah Lyon

College for Social Innovation
Semester in the City is a program that gives college students the opportunity to spend a semester doing hands-on learning through well-supported internships in the social sector.

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


Making Connections: Northeastern University Volunteers

My name is Josie Lee, I’m a second year Chemical Engineering student at Northeastern University, and this semester I’ve been volunteering for Apprentice Learning. I had no idea what Apprentice Learning was until this semester, and from everything I’ve learned I truly think it’s a fantastic organization! The students are getting job exposure and have a wonderful opportunity to understand different work environments, and to discover their own passions. Having responsibility and working for tangible reward is something that encourages a lot of people, and it’s awesome these kids are exposed to that because it can motivate them throughout school to reach for responsibility and ultimately, the reward of a paying job.

I’ve loved volunteering for Apprentice Learning not only because I like the organization, but also because I get to interact with the kids. I’ve always loved volunteering because of the connections that I make. I love getting to talk to the kids and see what their view is about work, responsibility, and school. It’s interesting to hear what they say and to compare it with what I thought when I was their age and what I think now. Hearing their different perspectives is very refreshing, and I hope they take something positive from what I share with them. I hope that if they’re having trouble in any way, maybe I can offer an outsiders look and be a resource for them. Most of all, for me it’s all about making the connection and being as helpful as I can be as they travel to their apprenticeships and reflect on their work experience.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with Apprentice Learning this semester, and I hope to return next semester!

Josie volunteered with Apprentice Learning through Northeastern University’s Husky Volunteer Team (HVT). We are grateful for all her help this semester. To learn more about HVT and other community service visit

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.

We are a 2018 recipient of the Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 nonprofits!

We are thrilled to be a 2018 recipient of the Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 nonprofits.

“The Cummings Foundation grant is the largest competitive grant Apprentice Learning has received. Not only will funding help us to serve more students this year and next, this gift propels our organization into Boston’s nonprofit ecosystem in significantly new ways. We are so very grateful to Bill and Joyce Cummings for their deep generosity and radical philanthropy.”
—Helen Russell, Executive Director

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