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9 Paid Summer Internships for High School Students

If you are a high school student looking to have a productive summer, you should consider picking up a summer internship! Whether you are passionate about science, technology, arts, or business, these internships will help you build a strong foundation for your future academic and professional careers


Internships can also significantly enhance your college applications! Admissions committees like applicants who have demonstrated initiative and a proactive approach to their education


These experiences can set you apart from other candidates by highlighting your commitment to personal growth and your readiness to tackle real-world challenges. The insights and connections you gain during your internship can also provide experiences to reference in your college essays and valuable references from professionals in your field of interest. The compensation you receive is an additional bonus! In this blog, we will go over some of the most popular and well-regarded paid internships that you can participate in. 


Cost: Free for all accepted participants, covering all costs including lab materials and transportation within New York City; stipend provided.

Location: Columbia University, New York City

Application Deadline: While the deadline for 2025 is not stated, applications open in October 2024.

Program Dates: 5 weeks during the summer.

Eligibility: Open to students in grades 10-12 residing in New York City; preference is given to students in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx.


The Zuckerman Institute's Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia (BRAINYAC) is a great opportunity for you if you are interested in a pre-med track diving straight into neuroscience. This program matches you with a Columbia neuroscientist who serves as a mentor, guiding you through a specific research project. Over a five-week period, which includes weekend training sessions in the winter and spring followed by a full-time summer internship, you will gain firsthand experience in laboratory research,  exposing you to the processes by which laboratory work can lead to significant scientific discoveries.


The application process commences each fall, distributed through these partner institutions. You’ll be provided a stipend during your internship and have opportunities to engage further through a paid Merit Fellowship for continued work in Columbia’s mentor’s lab, positions as paid interns in future BRAINYAC cohorts, and access to an alumni network which includes trips and special events.


Cost: No cost; a salary of $15/hour is provided.

Location: New York City

Application Deadline: March 31, 2024

Program Dates: June 10 - August 9, 2024

Eligibility:

  • Must be 16 years of age or older.

  • Must be enrolled in high school or accepted to an undergraduate degree problem.

Note. For the Fall/Spring Term, you must be a New York City resident and be enrolled in high school.


The NYC Office of the Mayor offers internships to high school students who are interested in the functioning of city government and policy. You can apply to the department of your choice and, if selected, will work with that department for the duration of your internship.


You can expect to collaborate with full-time staff and work on various projects, including conducting research, attending meetings, managing incoming inquiries, analyzing data, drafting briefings, staffing events, etc.


Through the bi-weekly Speaker Series, you also learn more about the inner workings of the City government. Guest speakers include Deputy Mayors, Commissioners, Program Directors, and other senior staff.  You will also get a chance to develop a service project with other interns. The goal is to design and execute a project to impact the most deserving communities and uplift New Yorkers in need.


Cost: Free (Paid stipend of $1,200)

Application deadline: February 9, 2024

Program dates: June 27 - August 22

Eligibility: Students must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least the 9th grade by June 2024 

  • Must be 14 or older by June 27, 2024 

  • A genuine interest in science and laboratory research 

  • 3.5 GPA in science subjects


At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP), you will explore biomedical and computational research through an 8-week summer internship. This program not only focuses on laboratory or computational-based research projects but also includes postdoctoral-led journal clubs, student-led journal clubs, PI luncheons, laboratory tours, teambuilding, and social networking sessions. 


As a participant in the program, you’ll be matched with a mentor, usually a postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, or research technician, who provides you with supervision and guidance throughout the program. This program concludes with a presentation of your research project at a poster session. Beyond the scientific training, the programHOPP SSP allows you to participate in tours of MSKCC's state-of-the-art facilities, training sessions, and luncheons with principal investigators. 


Location: NASA centers across the country

Stipend: Awarded based on academic level and session duration

Program dates: Spring session (Mid January - Early May), Summer session (Late May - August), Fall session (Late August - Mid December)

Application Deadline: May 26 (Fall), August 30 (Spring), October 20 (Summer)

Eligibility: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen

  • Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)

  • Be a full-time student

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age at the time of application 


Embarking on the NASA OSTEM (Office of STEM Engagement) High School Internship Programs is a great opportunity for you if you have an interest in technology and a fascination for space exploration. These internship programs are tailored to provide hands-on experiences in STEM fields, allowing you to engage with state-of-the-art technologies used in space exploration, satellite communication, and aerospace engineering. Whether you're fascinated by robotics, software development, or the intricate mechanisms behind spacecraft, the NASA OSTEM High School Internship Programs offer an immersive environment where you can apply your theoretical knowledge to various real-world challenges.


What sets the NASA OSTEM High School Internship Programs apart is the solid access they provide to NASA's modern facilities and resources. You will build valuable connections while gaining hands-on experience in NASA labs, contributing to ongoing projects, and collaborating with experts in the field of technology. The mentorship you receive goes beyond traditional classroom learning, offering insights into the unique challenges and opportunities within the aerospace and technology sectors. Moreover, the program fosters a sense of community among like-minded peers who share your passion for technology and space exploration.


Check out this guide to know everything about NASA internships! 


Cost: Free (Paid)

Application deadline

Program dates: July 8-19, 2024

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors


As a high school junior or senior with interests in areas such as healthcare, social justice, or public policy, the High School Bioethics Project's two-week paid internship is an amazing opportunity for you. This program will introduce you to a broad variety of bioethics topics, allowing you to engage remotely for four days a week, 1 to 2 hours daily from July 8–19, 2024. It's structured to foster an understanding of the ethical considerations inherent in the healthcare sector, ideal for those with no previous experience in bioethics.


During this internship, you'll have the opportunity to engage with professionals from diverse fields including public health, healthcare, biotech, patient advocacy, and law, which could lead to potential mentor relationships extending beyond the program. Your responsibilities will include committing 10-15 hours per week to read and discuss relevant articles, actively participate in talks, contribute to discussions, and write reflection papers. Additionally, you will provide feedback on the program and conclude your internship by submitting a short paper on a topic covered during your experience. 


Location: New York, New York

Stipend: A striped commensurate with the New York State minimum wage

Program dates: January-June (school year) and July-August (summer)

Eligibility:  Students who are two to three years from graduating high school (in grades 10 and 11) or obtaining their High School Equivalency degree and who, on the application deadline date, either reside in or attend a high school or home school in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut


The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers great internship opportunities designed to allow students to immerse themselves in the world of art, museums, and creative professions. However, it's important to note that this experience is not exclusively for those with a direct passion for art. The High School Internship Program at The Met offers a diverse array of professional fields for students to explore. Whether your interest lies in editorial work, marketing, social media, education, scientific research, conservation, or another area, the program provides an opportunity to connect with museum professionals in these sectors. During your internship, you'll have the chance to engage one-on-one or in small cohorts with these experts, gaining invaluable insights and work experience. 


The Met is deeply committed to promoting diversity in the arts, museums, and creative careers so it actively seeks students from diverse backgrounds and with varied interests. If you're someone who is excited about contributing your skills and ideas to a prestigious institution like The Met, this program is looking for you. Especially if you belong to a group that is historically underrepresented in these fields, you're strongly encouraged to apply


Location: New York, New York

Stipend: Interns who attend a Title 1 School or are eligible for free or reduced lunch will be offered a stipend to participate. Unpaid internships will be provided for all other accepted students, with the option to receive community service hours or school credit. Participation in this program can be used to fulfill the extracurricular requirement for the NYSED Seal of Civic Readiness. 

Program dates: October - June

Eligibility: High school students, entering grades 10, 11, or 12. Applicants must live in and attend school in the New York City metro area (includes the five boroughs of New York City, as well as areas of New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey). 


If you’re passionate about history and digital media, the Student Historian Internship program at the New York Historical Society is a great way for you to dive into American history. In this program, you'll not only engage in exciting research using the vast resources of the New-York Historical Society but also have the chance to share your scholarship through creative digital projects. You'll meet with professional staff to learn about various aspects of the museum, library, digital humanities, and history fields. This internship is a collaborative and interactive experience, where you work alongside fellow students to develop your historical thinking, communication, and digital media skills. The hands-on work involved in the program will deepen your understanding of American history, particularly focusing on the theme "Our Composite Nation: Frederick Douglass’ America." 


If you attend a Title 1 School or are eligible for free or reduced lunch, you will be offered a stipend to participate in the program. For other accepted students, the internship is unpaid, but you have the option to receive community service hours or school credit. This flexibility makes the program an excellent opportunity for you to gain valuable experience in the field of history and digital humanities, regardless of your economic background.


Cost: Free (Paid)

Application deadline: March 3, 2024

Program dates: July 1- August 9, 2024

Eligibility

  • Demonstrated interest in biomedical sciences

  • Must attend NYC public school or charter school

  • Must be an under-represented minority and/or economically disadvantaged


If you're a high school student interested in the pre-med track in college, the Mount Sinai Center for Excellence in Youth Education Medical and Scientific Exploration Program is designed to expose you to a cross-section of health and medical careers while enhancing your basic science knowledge, specifically in cellular and molecular biology. Through weekly rotations, you will engage with various laboratories and clinical departments within the Mount Sinai Health System. Each department showcases the real-world applications of scientific concepts, with activities conducted in a virtual setting, including virtual lab tours, case studies, and discussions.


This program employs an interactive online format using platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom, facilitating direct interactions with a diverse range of professionals including ISMMS faculty, healthcare staff, and medical students. You will participate in live video sessions that include a series of introductions to health disparities, leadership development activities, and college readiness training. Additionally, you will play educational and engaging virtual games like Kahoot and Jeopardy as well as gain access to the Levy Library network.


Location: New York

Stipend: $2,500

Program Dates: August - June

Eligibility: You must be in the 10th or 11th Grade and passing your classes for the last three or more semesters. You must ALSO meet at least one requirement from the list below: a) Complete a course in the Science and Nature Program, the Science Alliance Middle School Program or Science Alliance High School Program OR b) Attend one of the partner high schools or partner programs


The Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the American Museum of Natural History offers you an opportunity to engage in a year-long scientific research project alongside Museum scientists. Imagine working on pioneering projects covering a diverse range of topics, from the genetic basis of foraging in ogre-faced spiders to the mysteries of ancient Maya diets. You'll be working with your peers and dedicated scientist mentors twice each week throughout the school year, for a total of four hours a week, on projects that are breaking new ground in scientific research. This hands-on experience is invaluable, offering you a unique insight into the world of scientific exploration and discovery.


As an SRMP participant, you are not expected to have any prior experience in research activities. 


You'll learn a wide array of new skills, including working with DNA in the lab, analyzing data from space-based telescopes, reading scientific articles, and coding and data analysis using programming languages like Python and R. This program is perfect for students who are passionate about learning and discovery, are new to scientific research, value teamwork and collaboration, and are excited to work with a mentor.


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: Deadlines vary depending on the cohort 

Program dates: Multiple cohorts throughout the year

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students!


Ladder Internships is a selective start-up internship program for ambitious high school students! In the program, you work with a high-growth start-up on an internship. Start-ups that offer internships range across a variety of industries from medicine,  health tech, consulting, and more. You can explore all the options here on their application form. Ladder’s start-ups are high-growth companies on average raising over a million dollars. Past founders have included YCombinator alums, founders raising over 30 million dollars, or founders who previously worked at Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. In the program, interns work closely with their managers and a Ladder Coach on real-world projects and present their work to the company. Here is the application form


Interns are offered one-on-one training in communication, time management, and other such valuable skills and will also have the opportunity to attend group training sessions with other interns in their cohort. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.


One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing independent research, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 


Image Source: Columbia University logo

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