Ignite Purpose

Apprentice Learning provides work experiences that ignite passions and create motivation for success by contextualizing academic content with real-world experience. Together, we educate for our future.

“My experience at NorthStar will help me in the future because one day  I would like to own a small part of a company. Now I know how to buy shares of the company and if I’m making a profit in the stock market.” —Marta

Apprentice Learning offers career education programs for eighth-grade students in Boston Public Schools designed to teach essential work skills and habits and expose students to different careers and adults who are passionate about their professions, so that students can make a clear connection between success in school and a satisfying, productive work life.

What We Offer

Experiences that ignite a sense of purpose.

City Summer Internship

A paid internship program for rising ninth grade girls exploring STEAM careers during the summer. Program Dates: July 9 – August 10, 2018. Only a few openings remaining!
Apply Now

Workplace Explorations

One-day workplace visits offer insights to local careers as well as opportunities to meet, practice skills and learn alongside of engaging professionals.

Apprenticeships

Six workplace sessions where students build their career knowledge and a toolkit of communication and self-presentation techniques guided by a mentor at the company.

Launch

Students receive extensive support applying for summer jobs, enrichment programs and paid internships designed to prepare 14-15 year olds for more independence and responsibility.

Our Impact

40% of apprentices land a summer job.

 School Partners
Worksite Partners
Apprentices
Students Served
Volunteer
Mentor Hours

354 Eighth graders have completed an apprenticeship with one of our 60+ worksite partners.

Skills for Success

The Thrift Shop of Boston
“I learned the true value of being on time.”
Maxwell Health
“I learned about ways the Web works and how posts are sent from one website and/or computer to another. Knowing that nothing can truly be deleted from the web has taught me to be careful of what I post on social media. I will be more cautious of the words, photos, and post I like or write.”
Birch Street House and Garden
“I learned how to be more organized because I learned to put everything in order for the displays. It became a habit. Also, I learned to listen to a specific order exactly as it was said.”
Menton Restaurant
In the kitchen, I learned to always be aware and communicate with each other and to have a neat food space so the food will turn out well.”

Career Knowledge

Trinity Financial
“I’ve come across so many new things from the past 6 weeks such as learning about different types of jobs, real-estate uses, geo-coding and so much more!  It helped me realized that as I get older work is going to be so much more than just a sheet of paper.”
NorthStar Asset Management
“We learned the process of the stock market in the real life world and how to check the amount the stock of a company is worth like Facebook,Twitter, Instagram. I enjoyed that the most because we got to learn something new about companies that we use on our daily life style.”
Menton Restaurant
“I feel so special to get to have this privilege to learn what it takes to be a real chef and what it’s like to work in a real kitchen and especially a kitchen for a fancy restaurant like Menton.”

Dreams & Plans

“Now that I’m 14, I feel like I am ready to take the first step towards my goal and get a job. Ever since I was younger I have always wanted to be one of those people walking down the street with a suitcase in their hand. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of woman who is independent. In order to be this I realize that I was going to work hard in school.
Apprentice Learning gave me a glimpse of what it feels like to be that independent woman.”
Allen & Gerritsen
“I remember you said that said that even after a long day at work, you still give it your all because you want to be here. You’re doing it because, you love it and you have a goal to reach. That inspired me try my hardest when ever I do or try something new.”

Skills for Success

The Thrift Shop of Boston
“I learned the true value of being on time.”
Maxwell Health
“I learned how posts are sent from one website and/or computer to another. Knowing that nothing can truly be deleted from the web has taught me to be careful of what I post on social media.”
Birch Street House and Garden
“I learned how to be more organized.  It became a habit.”
Menton Restaurant
In the kitchen, I learned to always be aware and communicate with each other.”

Career Knowledge

Trinity Financial
“I’ve come across so many different types of jobs, real-estate uses, geo-coding and so much more!  Now, as I get older, work is going to be so much more than just a sheet of paper.”
NorthStar Asset Management
“We learned the process of the stock market to check the amount the stock of a company is worth like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I enjoyed  learning something new about companies that we use on our daily life.”
Menton Restaurant
“I feel so special to get to have this privilege to learn what it takes to be a real chef and what it’s like to work in a real kitchen and especially a kitchen for a fancy restaurant like Menton.”

Dreams & Plans

“Apprentice Learning gave me a glimpse of what it feels like to be that independent woman. In order to be this I realize that I am going to work hard in school.”
Allen & Gerritsen
“I remember you said that said that even after a long day at work, you still give it your all because you love it and you have a goal to reach. That inspired me try my hardest when ever I do or try something new.”

Latest News

Host an Apprentice: 5 Tips for Success

Mentors and owners of Adi’s Bike World, Adi and Val, teaching Joxcel how to use tools.

As schools get underway, Apprentice Learning is preparing 50 students for apprenticeships throughout Boston in a wide variety of businesses. These worksite partners make time each week to create a hands-on learning experience that helps students understand a particular workplace and practice the professional skills Apprentice Learning staff introduce in our six preparatory classes. Our experienced worksite partners have learned the right menu of tasks. Here is what we’ve learned from our partners:

1. Plan age-appropriate tasks including a mix of work including tasks that require higher level thinking skills.
Nearly all simple tasks are things students enjoy doing: assembling packets, doing inventory, updating a database or straightening shelves. These tasks build confidence and independence. Activities such as customer service and managing money are more challenging although apprentices report that they love doing this work. The trick is to vary tasks enough so the apprentice has an opportunity to learn more about the business by talking with you, customers, colleagues or by seeing firsthand exactly how things work.

2. Don’t expect the apprentice to take the lead.

One of the primary benefits of an apprenticeship for students is learning how to engage with adults who are not their teachers or family members. These types of social interactions are extremely rare for most students and initially, can be complex and stressful. Help ease a student’s discomfort and ask lots of how or what questions. What might be a first step you would take to tackle this task? What do you think should happen next? How do you understand the task I presented to you? How do you think our business makes money?

3. Do know that students are enjoying their experience—even if they don’t tell you!
Universally, the apprenticeship is a weekly highlight for students. Apprentices are much more nervous and anxious then they will let on, or may be learning how their body language can be perceived. Don’t worry. It’s normal! Once in a while, an apprenticeship isn’t a good fit. If that is the case, we will be in touch with you immediately to discuss changes, even to place the student in another setting better suited to his/her skills and interests. We all share the same goal that a young person’s first work experience is positive.

4. Use the experts.

When Apprentice Learning staff stops by to check in—we are not just checking on the apprentice. This is an opportunity for you to share questions, concerns or ideas about working with a young person. Use us as a sounding board. We love to talk about young people at work.

5. Have fun. It’s the Wonder Years.
Eighth graders love Apprentice Learning because they want to spend time with you. Young people at this age are in the greatest growth period in the human life cycle. The ages of 13-15 are called the Wonder Years for this reason. Apprentices are curious and eager to exercise independence and demonstrate their competence. They have intellectual capabilities that are often untapped in traditional school settings. Our oldest apprentices can vividly recall their workplace experience from their eighth grade years. The experience you create matters more than you know.

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
SSA

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.

Joxcel at Adi's Bike World with owners Adi and Val
Kenya and Jaylin at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Learning Lab
Marzuq (l) shares building plans with Mkhai (r) at Trinity Financial

Get Involved

Use your workplace to broaden a young person’s future.

Schools

We connect schools with Boston’s business community to provide a wide range of hands-on workplace experiences.

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Workplaces

Our experienced team matches the students to your business and guides you to provide an impactful experience.

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Charitable Giving

Purpose matters. Your donation will help us ignite career dreams and build a talent pipeline that is inclusive of all Bostonians.

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