PEEKE – Y.O.U.’s New Internship Program

Y.O.U. will offer a new, selective internship program: PEEKE (Partnerships, Exploration, Experience, Knowledge, Excellence). 

The experience will accept 30 high school juniors, who maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher, live in Cuyahoga County, and wish to learn more about one of their potential career interests and gain professional work experience. 

Students may apply for the program on Y.O.U.’s website beginning Monday, Feb. 4. As part of the application process, they will write an essay, provide a reference letter and high school transcript, and complete an informal interview with Y.O.U. Internship Specialist Valerie Slovenec. Students may also share a resume if they choose, but it is not required. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 1. 

Successful applicants will be notified about their acceptance to the PEEKE program the first week of March. 

Upon acceptance, and leading up to their summer intern experience, students will attend a series of professional skills-training sessions to help them prepare. They will then complete a 180-hour summer internship, which will allow them to explore a career path that may be of interest.

Y.O.U. staff members Janet Mack and Valerie Slovenec carefully match students with a Y.O.U. employer, who agrees to mentor a participant for the summer and teach him or her about a career. Some of our past internship partners include: The Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland Public Theatre, University Hospitals, and Walgreens, to name a few. You can view a complete list of past partners, here.

PEEKE program participants round out their experience by completing additional professional training during the fall semester of their senior year. 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 Ohio Means Job’s website.

As with most Y.O.U. programs, PEEKE is a paid experience. Participants will receive a stipend during their professional trainings and internships.

To learn more about the PEEKE program, corporate or community partners may contact Y.O.U. Employment Specialist at Janet Mack at (216) 704-7350 or  Interested parents or youth may contact Y.O.U. Internship Specialist Valerie Slovenec at (216) 536-4940 or

Carli Cichocki