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Baltimore announces new summer internship to increase youth opportunities

Photo credit: Charm TV Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA)— Mayor Brandon Scott announced a new summer internship program for high school students focused on increasing economic opportunities for Baltimore youth and expanding their access to careers in technology.


“Baltimore is home to a growing tech industry, and partnerships like this one show the power of local government, nonprofits, and the private sector coming together for the benefit of our young people,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We must continue to build on this cross-sector collaboration to create more pathways to careers for Baltimore youth, which will undoubtedly build a more equitable, thriving city.” 


The six-week paid pilot program, Baltimore Tracks, is facilitated in partnership with YouthWorks. 


City officials say, 12 students will be placed with one of 10 local technology companies in the first year of the program.



Throughout the internship, students will receive training from two non-profit organizations; Code in the Schools and Pass IT On. 


“The engagement and collaboration that led to the creation of these internships for City Schools students in our IT pathways is precisely what we want to continue cultivating across the City in order for City Schools, industry, and the community to collectively forge pathways towards strategic career readiness for Baltimore youth,” said  Kumasi Vines, Director Career Readiness at Baltimore City Schools.


"At Code in the Schools we know for a fact that talent is everywhere but opportunity is not. We see it every day. The young people who come through our programs have so much talent and are just waiting for that opportunity,” said Gretchen LeGrand, CEO of Code in the Schools. “The Baltimore Tracks internship pilot is a great start and we’re so thrilled by this group of tech companies and the thought they have put into the projects that the young people will be working on this summer."


“The key to creating a truly diverse technology workforce is exposure. However, many youth in Baltimore City are never given the chance to be exposed to high tech career fields. They miss out on the opportunity to enter life changing career paths. Companies also miss out on bright and talented employment candidates who could contribute greatly to their organization’s efforts if given a chance,” said Professor Willie Sanders, Executive Director of Pass IT On. “That’s why this partnership and program are so critical. It will help remove the barriers to exposure that keep many of our kids from excelling.”


The internship will also provide students with the opportunity to work with artificial intelligence, build websites, learn how to code in JavaScript and CSS, and more. 



Jodi Aryee, a senior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute says, “Coding has opened my eyes and allowed me to become more aware because code is everywhere and its millions of lines creating the simplest and easiest things to use like texting or searching. I have a feeling of joy when my code works and I see others using and enjoying it.” 


Theodore Bailey, a recent graduate of Edmondson-Westside High School says he is looking forward to the internship and is excited about how it will impact his future.  “Technology really intrigues me and keeps me focused. Eventually, I want to start my own web design business where I help companies and organizations do a better job promoting their services. I am looking forward to my tech internship this summer because I will continue to improve my technology and business skills and will use the experience for the next step in my career.” 


Michael Castagnola, Chief of Staff at SmartLogic and Baltimore Tracks says, “Businesses must be active participants in solving challenges in the communities in which they operate. We can not solely rely on government or non-profits to solve social challenges — we need to collaborate across sectors to tackle big challenges. In this case, Baltimore City youth need more access to high paying careers of the future.”