The Westside YMCA Teen Career Connection provides  high school interns an opportunity to crystallize their career path.
The Westside YMCA Teen Career Connection provides high school interns an opportunity to crystallize their career path.

Teens Can Apply Now for Summer Internships in NYC

These days, colleges are becoming increasingly competitive and looking for more than good grades, great SAT scores, an outstanding essay, and a list of after-school activities; they also want to see some hands-on, real-world experience, preferably with a leadership component. These summer internships for NYC teens can make your average, high-achieving, city kid really stand out from the rest of the equally high-achieving pack.

Fortunately, because not all kids have the same interests, NYC summer internships come in various flavors, paid and unpaid, regular and intermittent, educational and creative, with some also offering school or volunteer credit. The primary thing summer internships for NYC teens tend to have in common is the due dates to apply are usually before most teens have started thinking about their summer—or college—plans.

To make sure your teens don’t miss out on any opportunities (and you don’t end up with an angsty child-shaped sloth on your couch for three months), we've rounded up great internships and summer programs for teens in NYC. Take note: The opportunities are listed in order of application deadline.

Editor's Note: While we've confirmed information as of publish date, summer information for 2021 is changing daily. Please click the links to the individual internships below to confirm details.

The Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program is designed for high school students interested in biomedical science careers. Photo courtesy of Sloan Kettering

Summer Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Upper East Side

Ages: Rising 10th to 12th graders
Application due: Friday, February 5, 2021
This eight-week program gives motivated, self-directed students a chance to conduct their research in a state-of-the-art lab under the guidance of a grad student, post-doc fellow, or research technician, and then publicly present their results. A stipend is awarded upon completion of the program.

New York County District Attorney’s High School Internship Program – Multiple Manhattan Locations

Ages: Current 10th to 12th graders who live in or attend school in Manhattan
Application due: Applications are being finalized; last year they opened on February 10 and were due March 9, 2020. Bookmark the website and check for updates.
Interns help out in one of three different District Attorney’s offices and participate in special presentations and field trips, and take part in mock trial competitions. Interns receive a weekly stipend of $175.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Upper East Side

Ages: Rising 10th to 12th graders or college freshmen
Application due: Tuesday, March 31, 2021
This four-week program allows interns to deep-dive into the daily activities of a city historic site, including researching life and artifacts from the 19th century, supporting summer programming, exploring NYC history, and posting to social media accounts. A decision on whether the 2021 program will be virtual or in-person will be made later. The program is unpaid, but school credit or community service hours may be earned.

Artslife at the Museum of Arts and Design – Columbus Circle

Ages: Rising 10th and 11th graders
Application due: Sunday, April 18, 2021
Interns are introduced to a range of museum careers, from behind-the-scenes to public-facing activities. Over six weeks, students engage in collaborative work with museum staff, local designers, and other arts professionals. Interns are paid $15 per hour and receive a MetroCard.​ Program dates for 2021 are Tuesday, July 6-Friday, August 13. The program runs Tuesdays-Fridays from 11am-3pm.

Go Getter – Citywide

Ages: Rising 10th to 12th graders
Application due: Applications will be available in late-March and due in early-May for summer 2021
Interns work as teaching assistants in a K-4 classroom under the supervision of a head teacher. Interns may manage small groups or work with students one-on-one to help with academic skills and model good behavior. Interns also participate in professional development to hone community leadership skills. The internship is unpaid, but service learning credits are offered. Interns demonstrating financial need may apply for a stipend.

Interns and seniors enjoy time together at an Intergenerational Game Day at DOROT.

DOROT – Multiple locations

Ages: Rising 10th to 12th graders
Application due: Friday, May 7, 2021 (early applications are encouraged as spots often fill up before the deadline)
During two separate four-week sessions, summer interns work together to give back to the community by volunteering with older adults, delivering meals, helping with technology, and socializing with homebound senior citizens. The internship is unpaid but offers community service credit, and stipends are available for travel costs. The program will be in person this summer only if COVID restrictions ease enough to allow for indoor, masked gatherings without social distancing.

And now for something a little different...

PENCIL is a competitive career readiness training program that culminates in a paid six-week summer internship.

The Pencil Fellows

This program prepares NYC students ages 16-22 years for the future by teaching them a variety of career-ready, hard and soft skills, then placing them in a paid, six-week internship in a local business. In conjunction with the 2020 Ladders for Leaders Program, and the application opens on Thursday, January 21. Applications are looked at on a rolling basis, and teens are encouraged to apply early to up their odds of finding an internship match.

NASA also has various internships for high-school students, including one at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in NYC at Columbia University. The summer session deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of the organizations.

This post is updated annually; Sonia Gonzalez contributed additional reporting.

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