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b2i Internship

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b2i Youth Leadership Academy is the primary focus of the Youth Development program at Bridges to Independence for youth ranging in ages 12-17. The Academy’s mission is to inspire youth to develop personal goals and experience success. Through partnerships with Arlington County 4-H Extension program and the Smithsonian Institution, the academy provides a vehicle for students to experience success through leadership development initiatives and career exploration activities. b2i’s program emphasizes character-building and improved academic performance. These goals are accomplished in a variety of ways including tutoring, community service, and health/wellness education.

The centerpiece of b2i is a year-long schedule of exciting educational enhancement and community service activities through internships and job shadowing. As part of this, b2i and the Smithsonian Institution have established a partnership to place several high school students each August in internships around our institution.

How The Internship Works: Potential interns are recommended by b2i staff. Internships generally last 3-4 weeks in August. Depending on placement, internships can be either full-time or part-time and may involve weekend hours as well as weekdays. Applicants are asked to be flexible when it comes to placement unit, number of hours per week and days each week. All internships are unpaid.

How to Apply: All interested applicants must have a valid email address and need to apply through SOLAA. Please double-check all information entered in SOLAA is correct before submitting. Applicants must submit three separate, brief essays (1/2 to 1 page each) describing three different units (i.e. museums, offices, programs, etc.) in the Smithsonian where the applicant would like to be placed for the internship. This means applicant must build in time in the application process to review the various units at the Smithsonian. (Hint: SI’s website is a good place to start.) Each essay must include the following:

1. Any special knowledge or skills the applicant may possess (computer/technology skills, fluency in other languages, artistic abilities, etc.)
2. Why the applicant is interested in each particular unit.
3. At least three learning objectives the intern hopes to gain during the internship at that particular unit.

Application Deadline: All intern applications need to be submitted to SOLAA no later than April 1st.

Questions about the essays or SOLAA? Contact Karen Carter at or 202-633-7059