In the summer of 2020, Bronx and NYC providers who typically coordinate and host youth work experiences faced a number of challenges to offering traditional opportunities. Between the practical health concerns of the pandemic and related budget cuts—like the extreme cut brought to Summer Youth Employment Program—providers were forced to quickly and radically rethink how they offer internships. In the wake of so much disruption, HERE to HERE developed its Key Distinguishers for Virtual Internships, a set of best practices to help guide practitioners as they pivoted to offer virtual internships.

This report highlights the summer experience, our shared learnings, and the value of Key Distinguishers in framing future iterations of virtual internships, both during and long after the pandemic. While virtual internships were initially seen as a response to the limitations Covid placed on in-person engagement, we found that virtual opportunities—when developed along thoughtful, comprehensive, shared standards—offer many of the benefits of traditional placements. Furthermore, they can play a significant role in expanding access to new, diverse, and increasingly innovative opportunities for young people. Rather than simply substituting in-person experiences, remote opportunities should be added to the existing set of work-based learning offerings. 

Through our Key Distinguishers, HERE to HERE is working to create a community of work-based learning stakeholders aligned along a core set of principles that promise meaningful experiences for young people, regardless of work setting. To learn more about the role Key Distinguishers play in our work, visit Our Strategy.

Download Whats-Next-The-Promise-of-Remote-Internships.pdf