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MISSION, TEXAS – December 14, 2017 – The Mission Economic Development Corporation launched a new internship program this fall to advance the careers of high school girls in Mission.
The Career Readiness and Empowerment of Women (CREW) is a multidisciplinary, year-long internship program for young women. The 2017-2018 CREW cohort consists of 15 exceptional students from Mission Collegiate High School and Mission High Eagle T-STEM Academy who have demonstrated an outstanding academic performance, commitment to the improvement of their community, and a keen interest in pursuing a career in the Entrepreneurship and STEAM fields.
CREW provides interns with the soft and technical skills needed to succeed in the Entrepreneurship and STEAM fields through four core areas: Career Lab, Mentorship, Social Innovation, and Coding. Not only will the interns go through intensive career readiness training, but will also create professional networks with successful women across the globe. During their second semester, CREW interns will focus on developing solutions to problems affecting their community by embarking in social innovation projects. After completing an intensive coding course, they will create the website for their respective social ventures.
The multifaceted approach takes a deep look at what is needed to succeed as a woman, resulting in a one-of-a-kind program that addresses the invisible barriers that keep young women in the Rio Grande Valley from entering careers in the STEAM fields. “Success does not simply rely on having access to computer science or engineering classes. For women in underrepresented fields, success is tied to not being isolated, having role models, a strong support system, and the professional skills to manage difficult situations,” said Cristina Garza, Program Director. “In other words, the interns will gain the soft and hard skills to navigate a career in which they are expected to be the minority,” added Garza.
This internship program marks the first time that a high school program is based out of the Mission EDC.
“Through this innovative internship program, the Mission EDC continues to re-define how economic development is done at a local level, once again prioritizing the professional skills we provide our future Mission leaders,” said Alex Meade, Mission EDC CEO. The Mission EDC expects this program to bring about long-term benefits to the entire community. “Studies such as the Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions 2015 report Women in the Economy, have shown that prioritizing financial opportunities and career development for women and girls is one of the single most effective actions a city can take to advance its local economy,” noted Meade.
Although this first CREW internship was made possible with the support of the Mission CISD, Mission EDC has plans to extend this to the other districts in the community. The first internship cycle is expected to end in June of 2018 and will continue to be offered on an ongoing basis.