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High School Leadership Institute


The DC Department of Human Resources (DCHR) has partnered with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to create the High School Leadership Institute, a year-round internship program for high school students. The program provides highly- focused juniors and seniors with internship opportunities in District of Columbia government agencies. The program also provides mentors, leadership training, and other workshops to support and enhance the student experience. Students will be selected primarily from the DC Career Academies and linked to internship opportunities in their fields of study. Participating agencies include DCHR, OSSE, Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), Department of Human Services (DHS), Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and a host of others.


The purpose of the program is to link District students with meaningful work experiences that will build on what they are learning in school and give them the opportunity to interact with several professionals who will support their growth and development. A second purpose of the program is to showcase career opportunities in the District government and build a pipeline of talented District students who will consider the District of Columbia government as an employer of choice while in college and after they graduate and/or earn certifications.


DCHR and OSSE will launch a pilot of 20-30 students in October 2018. The pilot will end in May 2019. The students will be expected to work 8-10 hours per week, with the scheduling determined by the student, his/her school, and the host agency. Students are expected to work during school closures with the exception of national holidays. In addition, students are expected to work one hour every other week with a strategically designated mentor selected by DCHR.


Students are not compensated during the academic year, but will be enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program with the internship agency as their host site during the summer months. In addition to summer pay, interns will receive community service hours to address school requirements and where possible, academic credit will be awarded for the internship/internship projects. A metro card will be provided to students for the duration of the program for transportation to and from work.


High school juniors and seniors attending District of Columbia public and public charter schools are eligible to apply. Preference will be given the DC Career Academy students and Career and Technical Education students but all students are encouraged to apply. Students must be 16-18 years old, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, have a strong attendance record, and have a commitment to public service, government, or social services. In addition, students must have school and parental support as well as time in their schedules to accommodate an 8-10 hour weekly commitment.

Get Connected

Interested in this program or know of students who would like to apply, apply here. The application deadline is Friday, July 13, 2018.