“During my 9 years as DA, my office has admired the work of the ‘I Have A Dream’ Foundation of Boulder County and we have benefited from hosting some high school Dreamer Scholars and graduates as interns and volunteers. These young people are talented and motivated and will benefit whatever office is fortunate enough to host them in an internship.” — Stan Garnett, Boulder County District Attorney, 2017

“My internship taught me so much about responsibilities. I improved my patience, time management, and communication.” — Katia, Senior at Boulder High School. Internship: College of Media, Communication and Information at CU Boulder.

“The interns have all been inquisitive and resourceful. They have introduced enthusiasm and energy to the workplace … Most of them finished their assignments in half the time we expected!” — Intrado (now West), 2011

The “I Have A Dream” Summer Internship Program places Dreamer Scholars and other eligible high school interns in positions at local organizations. The program is a 6- to 8-week, 20 hour a week paid internship to help students gain the necessary skills to be able to compete and succeed in the job market. We train and develop students throughout their internship so they can learn professional skills, while at the same time perform valuable work for their host department. Host organizations receive support in setting up and managing their internship program, and receive recognition in the community through various events and promotional materials.

Benefits for the students:

    • Paid summer employment – earnings of $1000+
    • Learn professional skills and workplace etiquette
    • Explore industries and careers while building professional networks
    • Professional development workshops and trainings

Benefit for the intern hosts organizations:

    • Youthful and energetic talent – fresh perspective!
    • Introduce future workforce talent to your organization and industry
    • Develop underserved youth from Boulder County
    • Guidance and support from “I Have A Dream”

Paid internships are an excellent way for Dreamer Scholars and other eligible students — all of whom come from underserved backgrounds — to explore career interests and build professional experience while they are still in high school. We know that this exposure to campus and professional contexts helps these students build the confidence and skills they need to pursue their college and career goals. Similarly, Intern hosts benefit from the energy, enthusiasm, and unique perspectives of the diverse students they work alongside.


In order to qualify for paid internships, students must participate in an intensive, two-day Career Readiness Boot Camp, which includes workshops on public speaking, resume building, interview skills, and professional communication. At the end of the Boot Camp, the staff sends the students’ resumes to the hosts in which the students have expressed interest. Hosts then interview potential interns and select the student who is the best fit for the position.
Hours and compensation for interns are flexible. The average intern is available to work around 20 hours per week for 6-8 weeks at a rate of $12 per hour. “I Have A Dream” staff will work with hosts and interns to customize the internship experience. The average cost of hiring an intern in our program is $1320-$1760. “I Have A Dream” has limited scholarships available to help offset costs for new hosts the first year through a grant from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative. We can work with hosts regarding alternative payroll solutions if an organization cannot compensate the intern directly.
Based on decades of experience, “I Have A Dream” knows that the most fulfilling internship experiences provide meaningful ways for students to engage with their host organization. Hosts should expect interns to meet professional standards, provide clear and consistent feedback, and fulfill a functional need the organization identifies. Many organizations provide professional development opportunities, such as training in computer applications, industry insights and/or leadership coaching. In addition, our staff checks in weekly with Interns and hosts to facilitate clear communication and ensure a fulfilling internship experience. At the end of the summer, hosts are encouraged to celebrate the completion of the internship at a ceremony and provide feedback to improve future internships.
There are lots of ways for your organization to get involved in building the career development opportunities for Boulder County’s low-income youth. You can become an intern sponsor, provide job shadows and tours, encourage your staff to become tutors and mentors to Dreamer Scholars, and volunteer at our Internship bootcamp.


If you are interested in exploring the possibility of serving as a host for an Intern or finding other ways to engage, please contact Danielle Staunton at

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