SAN FRANCISCO – Today, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and sf.citi Chairman Ron Conway announced the 4th annual Future Graduates summer tech internships program. A partnership between the San Francisco Police Foundation and San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi), the Future Graduates program enhances youth access to 21st Century work experience, placing local high school students in paid summer internships at innovative, San Francisco based technology companies.
“We are making investments in our young people to make sure they receive the best education and job experiences so that they obtain the skills and training needed to succeed in the 21st Century,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “The San Francisco Police Foundation, in partnership with sf.citi through the Future Graduates program, is supporting my Youth Jobs+ Initiative to give our next generation of leaders meaningful job opportunities this summer and beyond.”
For the fourth year running, over forty SFUSD high school students will participate in summer internships at more than twenty sf.citi member tech companies in 2015. These local students, ages 14 – 18, will spend eight weeks gaining real-world exposure and learning new skills in a productive environment at some of San Francisco’s most exciting tech companies: RichRelevance, Bayes Impact, UrbnEarth, Meadow, 32-7, Adroll, Neighborland, Black Girls Code, Mobiquity, AssuranceData, if(we), AppFusions, SwiftBot, Getaround, NextRequest, Trulia, Appallicious, elev8r.co and Transmosis. The Police Foundation facilitates student placement and manages the program during the summer, and sf.citi has again provided significant funding for student stipends and covering the costs of the program, while securing private sector commitments.
“Efforts initiated four years ago to engage young people in areas of the City that traditionally have less opportunities are already bearing fruit. Approximately 70 percent of young men and women who participated in our Future Grads programs have either gone on to higher education or secured employment in a variety of fields including the high-tech industry. Others have ventured into the working world and continue to maintain a relationship with their mentors. Every child deserves the same opportunity to reach their full potential, and I hope that the San Francisco Police Department, through the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Plus Program, can continue to play a role in keeping kids on the right path,” said Police Chief Greg Suhr.
Recruited from local high schools, students fill out an application and are then matched to a company based on interests, skill levels and company needs. A max twenty hours per student per week, the program begins early June with a tech skills orientation, culminating in a “graduation” where students receive well-earned, paid stipends for completing their internships. Not only do students receive coaching on personal communication skills and perspectives on work setting expectations, they rotate through various roles in different departments, gaining experience on a variety of projects, tasked with analytics, social media, branding, product, content, marketing, QA, support, engineering, and other skill sets in high demand by tech employers. The scope of internships were purposefully left open to the creativity and needs of each participating company.
“We designed this program with the success of young people in mind,” said Jeremy Wallenberg, sf.citi Director of External Affairs. “Bringing together government, community and the private sector, we can continue to build on our work with Mayor Lee and Chief Suhr to provide young San Franciscans with meaningful work experiences that encourage them to graduate high school, pursue fulfilling careers, and lead productive, healthy lives.“
The Future Graduates Summer Tech Internships program has been an ongoing, integral part of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s Summer Jobs+ Initiative, challenging employers to commit summer jobs for youth in our city. Adopted as a model for public-private partnership by the New York City Department of Small Business Services Tech Internships program and others, Future Graduates has also been honored nationally by the White House Champions of Change initiative recognizing every day Americans who are making positive changes in their communities. Some of the work students have accomplished in previous years is still being implemented to this day by past host companies from the program.
Future Graduates is a cornerstone program of the San Francisco Police Foundation, a non-profit organization formed by citizens in 2011 to aid San Francisco police officers in their service to community. Future Graduates prepares students for success, encouraging them to graduate high school, pursue fulfilling careers, and lead productive, healthy lives.
The San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi) is a 501(c)6 advocacy organization created to leverage the power of the technology community around civic action in San Francisco. sf.citi supports innovative policies and works collaboratively with government to find new solutions to historic problems facing San Francisco, and consolidate a voice in promotion of tech sector interests and growth. Over 1000 San Francisco based technology companies and partner organizations are members of sf.citi.
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