“Ever wondered how you can help out and make a difference? District of Columbia Public Schools is seeking local professionals to participate in an innovative mentoring program. Last year, DCPS launched an internship program for students with disabilities called the Competitive Employment Opportunities (CEO) Program. The CEO Program brings high school age students with various disabilities together with professional mentors who work in a range of occupations. CEO mentors help introduce our students to the working world and guide them through the career exploration process. To learn more visit our website dcpsceo.com or follow us on twitter @DCPSCEOProgram.
Over the past two years, CEO has provided DCPS students with professional development training, one-on-one mentoring, and paid summer internships throughout the district. During bimonthly one-on-one mentoring, which takes place on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 4:30pm – 6:00pm, students work with mentors on a career-focused project. This project and the summer internship open our students’ minds to the expansive and exciting working world, allowing them a first-hand experience in what it’s like to be a professional. Last year, one of our students worked with a mentor from the Architect of the Capitol on creating a 3-D design of a music studio. Another student worked with a mentor from NASA on a presentation about the landing of the Mars Rover. Our mentors have come from companies and organizations, large and small, all over the district, from Spooky Action Theater to The Discovery Channel.
Currently, we are looking for more local partner agencies in the DC community to add professional mentors to our team, in order to give our students more outlets for career exploration. It is an exciting time for the CEO program, as DCPS is looking to double our programming in 2015. Our goal is to recruit 20 new mentors through 15 new corporate/organizational partnerships by January 2015. If you are enthusiastic about your career, you can share that enthusiasm by becoming a mentor. If you work at a company or organization that would provide exciting options for our students, you can open doors by partnering with DCPS. If you are interested in mentoring or would like more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”