Since 2017, WPTI has led the Mentored Internship Program (MIP), a Pinkerton Foundation-funded initiative focused on providing 12-week mentored internships and career exposure for young adults aging out of foster care. This population faces unique challenges, and often requires additional support to effectively transition to adulthood, including college and/or career. In response, WPTI’s MIP initiative supports a network of foster care providers in administering mentored internships for the young adults they serve. In 2021-22, WPTI provided capacity building services for 12 foster care providers, collectively serving over 300 young adults. Additional partners include Youth Development Institute (YDI), Youth Communications, and Change Machine, who have augmented the program’s offerings through a variety of services.
A new component of the program, launched in Fall 2020, is MIP University (MIP U), led by Wendell Moore. This initiative, designed in the wake of COVID-19, offers live virtual training, based upon the Masterclass model but more interactive, to young adults associated with the MIP initiative. It includes sessions on a variety of critical life skills and work readiness topics, as well as career exploration opportunities across multiple sectors. MIP U supports these young adults as they complete their 12-week mentored internships, connecting them wit subject matter experts across a range of areas, exposing them to new career possibilities while also teaching critical job readiness skills, thus better preparing them for the job market and enabling them to make more informed career decisions as they transition to adulthood. In the past year, the program has grown to include financial and digital literacy, helping to prepare young adults for a rapidly changing labor market.
MIP U recently released its quarterly newsletter, which featured an article from WPTI on the impact of COVID-19 on youth and young adults of color. The piece focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the retail and hospitality sectors, which often serve as entry points into the labor market for young workers, as well as the broader impact of the pandemic on Black and Brown New Yorkers, low-income communities, and other marginalized populations. However, the piece stresses that, with proper support and services, young adults and others disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the economic crisis can effectively reconnect to the labor market and secure quality jobs as the city progresses toward an equitable economic recovery.
To read the full newsletter, please CLICK HERE.
To learn more about MIP and MIP U, please contact Andrea Vaghy, WPTI's Chief Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org