The PEEKE Internship Program (Partnerships, Exploration, Experience, Knowledge, Excellence) is a selective internship program offered to 30 high school juniors throughout Cuyahoga County. These applicants are interested in gaining professional skills and hands-on career exploration experience while earning a stipend and networking in a field of their interest.

As with most Y.O.U. programs, PEEKE is a paid experience. Participants will receive a stipend during their professional trainings and 180-hour summer internship. Those who complete the program in December may be eligible for an OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal, which signifies to Northeast Ohio employers the student is prepared to contribute to the workplace and community.

The seal “is a formal designation students can earn on their high school diplomas and transcripts indicating they have the personal strengths, strong work ethic and professional experience that businesses need,” according to the OhioMeansJobs’ website.

Benefits of Mentorship

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Youth Opportunities Unlimited recruits for you.

Y.O.U. screens applicants and teaches them soft skills to ensure they are ready for their career-exploration experiences. All interns are high-achieving students who have the maturity —even at a young age— to be placed into a professional environment.

The mentor-pairing process helps us align your organizational needs and opportunities with the career interests of a young person, which helps grow the future workforce.

Funding for interns comes through Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

Through the Cuyahoga County Family and Children First Council, all interns who successfully meet their internship requirements receive a stipend, and Y.O.U. manages tracking time and compensation for the intern.

Liability for interns while at your work site is covered by Youth Opportunities Unlimited. When mentoring a Y.O.U. intern, Y.O.U. covers the liability, which means there are fewer hurdles to get an intern in the door and ready to work.

Y.O.U. Expectations of Mentors

Y.O.U. asks that host organizations:

  • Communicate with us about what their expectations are for their intern, first and foremost. This helps to ensure you get the best intern for your organization.

  • Provide a safe and appropriate working environment.

  • Provide a meaningful and challenging experience for interns. Y.O.U. gladly assists with this by establishing a scope of work for interns prior to any placements. The scope of work helps interns gain a meaningful experience, and helps mentors and host organizations find appropriate work for the intern.

  • Identify one person who will be the primary mentor/ supervisor to the intern.

  • Contribute to the intern’s professional development by including them in staff meetings, organizational activities and networking opportunities.

  • Be open to building a long-term mentoring and networking relationship between the intern, you, and your company.

Learn more about the PEEKE Internship Program, here.

See our past Employers and internship sites, here.

For more information:

·      Employers: Employment Specialist Janet Mack: Email or 216.704.7350.

·      Applicants: Internship Specialist Valerie Slovenec: Email or 216.536.4940.