As part of a comprehensive program to interrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty, Mayor Allen Joines, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston, Winston Salem Chamber President Mark Owens, and Truist Bank Triad Regional President Cantey Alexander announced today the creation of a paid internship program for 11th and 12th grade students in the Winston Salem/Forsyth County School System in low-income households.
The program will pay students $10 an hour for up to 10 hours per week, and is open to students who live in households with an income of 80 percent or less of the average median income for the county.
Truist Bank Charitable Fund has provided a grant of $1.2 million for this new program. These funds will be matched by local employers and other organizations to provide the internship funds for approximately 1,000 students over the next six years (165 per year), beginning in the fall of 2020.
The internship program is designed to be what Mayor Joines called “a natural beginning of a more comprehensive effort to excite students from low-income families about their career possibilities. We want to expose young people to new experiences and opportunities, put money in their pockets, and propel their interest in attending Forsyth Tech or other secondary schools to pursue a degree or trade certification.”
Cantey Alexander, Triad Regional President of Truist said “Truist is pleased to provide a portion of the funding for this exciting program. Our investment fully aligns with our company’s purpose to build and inspire better lives and communities. There is no better way to do that than to support programs that encourage youth to seek new opportunities and create a promising future for themselves.”
The program will be administered by the Greater Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce, who will also be securing the participation of employers and lining up other sponsors of the program as needed. “The Chamber of Commerce sees tremendous potential for this internship program to help develop the workforce of tomorrow. A strong workforce is one of the greatest advantages to attracting economic development and supporting the growth of companies already located here. The students who are working at these internships will be our next business leaders. This program can make a great impact, and we are grateful to Truist for this generous contribution to our community,” said Mark Owens, President of the Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce.
The program is expected to launch at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.