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Plano Mayor's Summer Internship Program interns Tariq Wrensford and Katie Chou serve as emcees for the luncheon celebration July 22 at the Plano Event Center. Photo by Louis DeLuca

For dozens of Plano high schoolers, this summer was anything but boring. From learning how nonprofits operate, to shadowing executives at national business headquarters, to working at top tech firms, hospitals and hotels, the ninth-annual Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program provided approximately 80 Plano ISD high school students with full- and part-time paid positions at some of the area’s most regarded organizations. Since the program’s inception in 2014, Capital One has served as presenting sponsor.

To honor the interns, employers and sponsors, Plano Mayor John Muns and other community leaders gathered for a celebratory luncheon today at the Plano Event Center. The event featured keynote speaker Vana Hammond Parham, Senior Legal Counsel at AT&T. While chronicling her illustrious career – from serving as a police officer, to a city attorney, to holding a top leadership position in the Dallas mayor’s office – Hammond Parham proved to the interns that career possibilities and exploration are exciting and exhilarating!

Joining Mayor Muns and participating in the program were Andrella Thomas, Manager, Social Innovation, Capital One; Jeri Chambers, Secretary, Plano ISD Board of Trustees; and DeJuan Taylor, Human Resources Market Leader, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Emceeing the program were Katie Chou, a rising junior at Plano West Senior High School and an intern at Centurion American Development Group, and Tariq Wrensford, a rising senior at Plano West Senior High School and an intern at Children’s Health.

“The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program is a prime example of how public-private partnerships have far-reaching impact on education and business development in Plano,” said Mayor Muns. “Even more important, this program connects our city’s sought-after businesses and nonprofits with talented young people who bring fresh perspectives to the workplace while learning work life skills that will serve them for years to come.”

The program gives outstanding Plano public high school students an opportunity to gain real-world experience, combining Plano’s vibrant business community with a nationally recognized school district. The eight-week program, which ran June 6 and continues through July 29, gives rising juniors and seniors the opportunity to work 20- to 40-hour weeks earning a minimum of $10 per hour. To date, nearly 800 students have participated in summer internships.

This year 400 Plano public high school students applied – representing every Plano public high school – and were placed into approximately 80 coveted summer positions. Many interns are enrolled in Plano ISD’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program and are likely to be first-generation college students.

“The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program gives students the incredible opportunity to gain valuable experience with the amazing businesses and nonprofits in our region,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, President, Capital One Financial Service.” Building on the Capital One Impact Initiative, this program enables us to continue to be a strong advocate for the community and fuel the talent pipeline in DFW. Thank you to Mayor Muns and the organizations who participated to ensure area students are equipped with skills for tomorrow. Most of all, thank you to the interns for your hard work this summer. Congratulations!”

All qualifying students attended a virtual Internship Prep, a mandatory training day held virtually March 19, and a virtual Job Fair on April 22. Once the interns were offered a job, they attended a full day of Intern Training and Enrichment where they learned about business soft skills, financial literacy, networking, corporate culture, teambuilding and work-readiness topics. They also had their LinkedIn headshots taken by a professional photographer.

In addition to presenting sponsor Capital One, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the Job Fair sponsor. (They also underwrote 20 interns in the STEM, nonprofit and healthcare industries and hosted nine interns at their offices.) The Boeing Company is the Internship Enrichment and Training sponsor, and NTT Data is the sponsor of Community Service Day at the North Texas Food Bank. Program and luncheon sponsors are AT&T, Atmos Energy, Bank of America, City of Plano, Dallas Mavericks, FedEx Office, Liberty Mutual, Oncor, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Plano and Toyota Motor North America. Plano ISD is the education partner.

Participating companies and nonprofits for 2022 are ArtCentre of Plano; Assistance Center of Collin County; Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano; Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County; Casa of Collin County; Centurion American Development Group; Children’s Health; City of Plano; Collin College – Plano Campus; Dallas Plano Marriott; Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas; Habitat for Humanity of Collin County; Hendrick Scholarship Foundation; Hilti, Inc.; Hilton Granite Park; Hope’s Door New Beginning Center; JPMorgan Chase; Junior Achievement of Dallas; Legacy Tower - LPC; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Meals On Wheels Collin County; Medical City Frisco; Medical City Plano; Minnie’s Food Pantry; My Possibilities; Operation Kindness; PepsiCo; Plano Chamber of Commerce; Plano ISD; Plano ISD Education Foundation; Susan G. Komen Dallas County; Texas Health Plano; The Boeing Company; The Salvation Army of Plano; and The Samaritan Inn.

For more information, please go to planomayorsinterns.org.

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