Bainbridge Youth Services (BYS) and the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island are working together to promote the social and emotional wellbeing of our adolescents and young adults. One way they do this is through sponsorship of a summer internship program where high school students get real world work experience with local employers.

In 2017, the summer internship program had 25 employers and 35 interns, but this year, BYS and Rotary are looking to expand it significantly. Listen here as BYS president Tom McCloskey explains how the program is expanding and evolving to better accommodate the needs of both youth and their employers.

The benefits for youth are obvious: whether their internships are paid or unpaid; whether they last just a few weeks or a whole summer; the young people who participate get meaningful job skills, build a strong work ethic and are exposed to a sector or industry of interest. Their experiences as interns in island businesses can help frame who they are and shape what they do with their lives.

But employers benefit as well: these internships offer an incredible opportunity to employ talented young people doing tasks that can prove essential to the long-term success of their businesses and organizations. In fact, so many summer interns have contributed to the success of organizations that many have gone on to become full-time employees.

The process for employers to participate is easy: not only will youth services work directly with you to help define the work and to facilitate the hiring, but also there are funds available to help pay the interns for the job you need them to accomplish: a total win-win for all.

If you’re interested in participating or would like to learn more, please visit the BYS website at or contact Tom directly at

Credits: BCB host: Christina Hulet; audio editor and publisher: Diane Walker.