For These Young Bostonians, Tufts Made the Ideal Summer Job

As paid interns at schools around the university, students gained career experience and mentorship

For six weeks this summer, Tufts hosted 18 high school students as paid interns as part of the Tufts University City of Boston Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

A partnership between the City of Boston and Tufts University’s Office of the Provost, Government and Community Relations, and Human Resources, the initiative was part of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s expansion of the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The SYEP expansion, supported by an $18.7 million investment from Mayor Wu, created 7,000 paid youth jobs—1,000 more than in 2022.

With an emphasis on strengthening the pipeline to higher education for Boston youth, Tufts was invited by Mayor Wu to participate as a host site. 

“We were honored to be invited by the mayor to join the city’s Summer Youth Employment program,” said Liza Perry, deputy director of the office of Government and Community Relations. “Thanks to an effective collaboration between Tufts and the mayor’s Office of Youth Employment and Opportunity, we built a high school intern program of which both Tufts and Boston can be proud."

Intern William Li inspects white coats at the Tufts University School of Medicine on August 9, 2023. William helped the school prepare for the White Coat Ceremony as a Tufts intern with the Boston Summer Youth Employment Program.

Of his SYEP internship at Tufts this summer, intern William Li said, "Witnessing the diverse paths, journeys, and routes that individuals from different quarters of a hospital have taken to get where they are now is truly awe-inspiring.” As part of his internship, Li helped staff at Tufts University School of Medicine prepare for the annual White Coat Ceremony for new students. Photo: Alonso Nichols

Tufts staff worked together to manage all administrative aspects of the program and the creation of weekly professional development sessions. The City of Boston assisted with recruitment efforts and funded the program through a grant.

The program’s interns—all City of Boston residents—worked across a variety of offices on the Medford/Somerville and Boston Health Sciences campuses. In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities in offices with functions ranging from assisting with dental clinic operations to supporting student services, the interns also received mentorship on post-secondary education and attended weekly career planning sessions that focused on personal and professional growth.

Luke Fredericks talks with Francis Roche, program coordinator at Tisch College, and Evelyn Pedroza, Jumpstart Site Manager at Barnum Hall. Fredericks is a Boston high school student who interned at Tufts in summer 2023

"Every person I have met here in Medford has been so kind and accommodating toward me, and I can't speak enough about their genuine sincerity,” said SYEP intern Luke Fredericks. “Everyone at Tisch College is so passionate about their work and it shows in the immense impact they have in the community. I have had the pleasure to do a lot of digital design work as part of this program, which has been an interest of mine for quite some time. Thanks to my employment here, my skills have grown tremendously and I hope to get better with each graphic I design." Photo by Alonso Nichols

“Students not only gained work and career experience, but they also received significant exposure to post-secondary education options,” said Cigdem Talgar, vice provost for education. “This experience, combined with the mentorship and professional development, was incredibly powerful for the interns.”  

Chloe Trente Un, a high school student at Boston Latin, worked in the dean’s office at the School of Medicine. “I've been exposed to so many unique people and introduced to the career paths that they have taken in medicine,” said Trente Un. “This program has opened my eyes to the directions that the medical field can take you and has connected me with amazing people who can help me along the way.”

Chloe Trente Un and William Li attend a community ice cream social on the Health Sciences Campus on August 9, 2023. Trente Un and Li helped prepare for the TUSM White Coat Ceremony in their role as Tufts interns this summer

William Li (second from left) and Chloe Trente Un (at far right) attend a community ice cream social on the Boston Health Sciences Campus on August 9, 2023. Li and Trente Un helped prepare for the School of Medicine's White Coat Ceremony, as Tufts interns with the Boston Summer Youth Employment Program. Photo: Alonso Nichols

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