Submitted by Project Talent Launch
Growing up in an immigrant community, Steven L. ‘23 has seen firsthand how some families lack social networks, putting them at a professional disadvantage. He founded Project Talent Launch (PTL) in September 2019 as a solution for students seeking career exploration with financial or social barriers to access.
PTL is a student-run nonprofit aiming to provide internships to high school students. In high school, students make important decisions about their academic and career paths that can affect their futures. Yet, career exploration opportunities are increasingly limited, especially in underserved communities. The organization awarded nearly $9,000 in internship scholarships to students from Marshall Fundamental, Temple City, and Arcadia High School this past summer.
“PTL is about creating a game-changing movement. High school internship opportunities are limited to only a select few. PTL is on a mission to disrupt these rules. We are creating a world where all high school students can have access to internships,” said Steven.
Last summer, financial tech company Cheese Financial; Pasadena Councilmember Felicia Williams; real estate companies A1 West, Century 21, and Clarkliving; AI company Virtualitics; Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy; and Corral Consulting all sponsored high school internship opportunities.
“I thought I would sit back and just be a fly on the wall. I didn’t. My supervisor actually involved me. He allowed me to take part in his actual sales and gain experience… This was the most amazing experience I have ever had,” said Ryan M., a senior at Marshall Fundamental and PTL Scholar at Clarkliving. Ryan has continued working with Clarkliving and is currently preparing to get his real estate license.
PTL sponsor Councilmember Felicia Williams ‘90 affirms the impact of the program: “I really appreciated this program because not only was there a collaboration between different cities and different schools, but also different types of employers. That’s very difficult to get. I really appreciate the initiative and really happy for the students who learned very important job skills and got paid for doing it.”
The PTL team, David L. ‘23, Streak H. ‘23, and students from Westridge, Arcadia High, and Temple City, hope to increase their reach going forward. They plan to extend to more schools in the San Gabriel Valley with the help of everyone in the community.
“Being able to play some role in facilitating these internships has been really rewarding work, so thank you all for trusting us this summer,” said David, CMO of PTL. Learn more about Project Talent Launch here