This summer twenty students from high schools throughout King and Pierce counties joined Puget Sound ESD (PSESD) staff as Inaugural Leaders in Training (LIT) interns. The goal of LIT is to incorporate youth voice into PSESD’s work in support of our End, while providing students with a meaningful internship opportunity. The students worked in six departments in PSESD’s Renton office, as well as in our Expanded Learning program in Kent, Tacoma, and Franklin Pierce school districts, and in Highline Public School’s summer learning program. The students brought enthusiasm, expertise, and welcome perspectives.

Alicia Alcocer and Shadia Amir, two LIT interns, conducted an evaluation of LIT. They did interviews and focus groups with LIT interns and staff hosts to bett er understand how the LIT program can be improved and strengthened next year.

They identified several areas of strength including:

  • All 15 students interviewed reported gaining new skills and strengthening existing skills
  • All staff hosts created opportunities for student collaboration in their field

The students also identified several areas of growth:

  • Multiple interns reported participating in activities they felt were not meaningful or aligned with the goals of LIT, such as quick tasks and projects that don’t work toward what the students perceived to be a meaningful goal
  • There is a need to provide more detailed information about the internship placements to students, and for hosts to be prepared with projects for the students

PSESD staff will be presenting on the LIT Intern program at AESA in Colorado Springs. Come check out our session!