Meritus College Fund, the San Francisco community-based college success program serving the City’s youth, has connected with 24 local employers to host 45 Meritus Scholars this summer in internships throughout the Bay Area.
Meritus and the business community continue their partnership to position low income youth on a college path toward career success. The evidence is the 2015 roster of interns and internships is double the size of the 2014 group.
The Meritus College Fund, founded in 1996, has a mission to help disadvantaged youth gain access to higher education. The program has helped low-income youth complete a college degree while preparing for post-college success via a combination of scholarships, coaching and mentorship. Internship is part of the career development segment of the overall Meritus program. The program’s commitment to career development highlights the importance of internships in placing college students on a path to post-graduate employment. Research from a Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media Marketplace study shows that most employers value the merits of internship participation above everything else, including a student’s college major and GPA. In addition, a National Association of College and Employers (NACE) study showed that students who participate in paid internships are more likely to receive at least one job offer (63%) than students with no internship experience (35%). The NACE study also revealed that starting salaries for students with internship experience were 40% higher than for students without such experience.
Although the benefits of internships for students are clear, many low income youth are excluded from internships that are unpaid due to their financial circumstances. To right this wrong, Meritus ensures that every Scholar receives compensation for time in an internship. Through generous support from corporations, foundations and individuals Meritus has raised more than 35K to over internship stipends for traditionally unpaid internship opportunities.
The 24 local companies and organizations partnering with Meriitus offer internships in a variety of relevant fields such as businesses, nonprofits, technology, healthcare and government. See the list of local companies and organizations here.
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