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Smithsonian Partners with Youth Leadership Development b2i Program

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 by in The OFI Blog |

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The Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) is excited to continue out partnership with the “Bridges to Independence” (b2i) Youth Leadership Development Program located in Arlington, Virginia.

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 the Smithsonian. Last August (2014) was the pilot program for this project. OFI placed 6 b2i youth in various SI units including the Zoo, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Freer-Sackler Galleries, and Natural History.

On the evening of February 12, 2015, Karen Carter of OFI gave a presentation to b2i youth interested in Smithsonian internships. SI is looking forward to receiving about 4-5 talented and high-achieving b2i interns this August. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting partnership.


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Karen Carter meets with b2i Youth Leadership students in Arlington