Thanks to a new internship program, hundreds of D.C. public school students have high-tech, high-wage jobs this summer.
About 500 students are participating in an internship program through AthleTECH, an organization that partners with Microsoft and other companies. Some of the students are designing a mobile game app that will start selling next month.
"This is a tremendous opportunity," participant Erik Latimer, a rising senior at Woodrow Wilson High School said about the program that gives hands-on experience with high-tech employers.
"It kind of opens me up to certain careers I didn’t think were possible," he continued.
The program opens doors for students, Robert Holm, the director of the Information Technology Academy at McKinley Technology Education Campus said.
"People actually trust young people around technology, and this is a place for them to enter into some of the highest paying jobs in the region and in the country," he said.
Christal Reeder, a student at McKinley, said the internship prepares her for her next step.
"I feel like it’s saving me money for college, basically, because I can figure out if this is a career path that I really want to follow," she said.
Latimer said the program points out to him that he can start now on achieving his dreams.
"You don’t have to wait to graduate before you start making innovations," he said.
D.C. schools hope to expand the program to 700 students next year.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that AthleTECH coordinates the internship program.