One of College Possible’s most exciting recent partnerships is with College to County — a Multnomah County mentorship program that provides students of color and underrepresented communities with paid internship opportunities at Multnomah County.
The program exposes participants to an array of different careers available at county-run agencies.
“My favorite part of interning with College to County was making a variety of connections with professionals of color through the professional development workshops. If there was a guest speaker that interested me, I would reach out to them to schedule an informational interview. From there, we would have enriching conversations and navigate interests and networks. I met so many amazing people. Before joining College to County, I did not realize the importance of building connections; having these types of relationships helps students find careers and create support systems,” says Aaliyah, currently a student at Portland State University.
Aaliyah participated in College to County for the last two summers in the Department of County Human Services, working in the Aging, Disability and Veterans Services Division and the Home Care Worker Program.
Last year, 16 College Possible students applied to College to County and five were offered internships. These were students attending Mt. Hood Community College and Oregon State University, as well as Oregon students at out-of-state colleges who were hoping to return home for summer work.
“One valuable part of the College to County program is that during the 12 weeks that students are working with us, we offer different professional development opportunities to round out their experience. Students are able to get one-on-one mentoring with current employees. We also host external trainings on topics like Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and listen to what each student is hoping to learn and try to provide those opportunities,” says Cole Whitehurst, College to County’s program coordinator.
“We have been thrilled to see so many College Possible students interested in this program. These students have been an impressive bunch and we hope to have many more apply to join us this spring when the application opens back up. I’m excited to see in a few years from now if we’re able to hire any of these previous College to County students as full-time employees. I think it’s a perfect on-ramp to county employment.”
The types of internships vary each year depending on needs at the County. Find out more about the program, watch some videos of program alumni and read some success stories at their website.
Thanks, College to County, for this great offering for College Possible students.