YWCA GirlsFirst interns get the jobs done

Empowering women is one of the quintessential missions of the YWCA, and the program YWCA GirlsFirst is doing just that. GirlsFirst is a leadership program that works with girls in their freshmen year at local high schools to help identify and strengthen the leadership capabilities, as well as teaching them different skills to assist in their future.

After girls graduate from the program, they can apply for paid summer internships at local non-profits and corporations. The girls must submit cover letters and resumés to the internships that interest them, as well as attend workshops on interviewing and job readiness skills.

This year, there are 12 organizations participating in employing 12 GirlsFirst graduates. The employers range from law firms such as Dorsey and Whitney to non-profits such as Catholic Community Services. Here are three organizations that return year after year to sponsor a GirlsFirst intern:

Seattle Children’s Hospital has been a proud supporter of the YWCA since the mid-1990s. As an Inspire Luncheon sponsor for the past nine years, Seattle Children’s contributions have been instrumental in the success of this fundraising event. The organization has also hosted interns from GirlsFirst for some time.

This year, the GirlsFirst intern is working within Seattle Children’s community outreach department. She has helped fit children for helmets at community events, as well as informing families of the importance of wearing a helmet. She has also helped with data entry and writing articles and documentation pieces.

Starbucks Coffee Company receives a gold star in its involvement with the YWCA. Not only has the firm been involved for more than 20 years with the YWCA, its venti-sized involvement has reached many aspects of the organization. From providing every cup of coffee that is served at Angeline’s Center for Homeless Women, to sponsoring the annual Inspire Luncheon, to the involvement of two Starbucks employees as YWCA board members — we are so lucky to have the Starbucks as a key partner!

This year is not the first year that a GirlsFirst intern has been placed at Starbucks’ headquarters, and hopefully it will not be the last. Every year, a GirlsFirst intern works very hard in one of the coffee giant’s busiest offices, the payroll department.

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is among the most lasting sponsors of a GirlsFirst intern. Every SAM intern has had a valuable and rich experience.

This year’s intern is working on archiving past art exhibits. She is learning about different artwork, artists and time periods while assisting in other administrative work.