CareerLaunch Internship Program

Lutheran_5222Join a growing number of employers who are turning the city of Denver into a classroom by providing internships for Denver Public Schools CareerConnect students studying STEM and fields.  Receive support from students studying your industry.  Internships range from 100-120 hours.  Through the Launch internship program, students:

  • Learn the practical applications of their STEM coursework
  • Explore potential career paths
  • Make meaningful contributions to their host organizations.


The Launch program offers business partners a robust support system for internship supervisors and students alike. Denver Public Schools staff will assist employers with intern selection. Additionally, DPS will provide case management services and logistical support to students throughout the program. Students will be well prepared to thrive in their internships because of the industry coursework they have received through their DPS CareerConnect pathway, as well as the job readiness training and ongoing coaching that is included in the Launch program. Download a printable info sheet about Launch. Business partners are asked to contribute a student support fee for a maximum amount of $1,200 per intern. These funds will be used exclusively for intern financial awards and transportation cost.  Please contact Olivia Barraza Kee for more details or check out the Launch Internship Program Get Started Guide  


Through DPS CareerConnect, students bring industry knowledge and contribute to your business operations. And when you engage with DPS CareerConnect students, you are building your company’s future talent pipeline! The majority of Launch business partners report that students are doing productive work within the first 2 weeks of the internship and 95-100% would recommend the program to co-workers and friends.


Business partners participating in the CareerLaunch internship program this summer will be providing life-changing opportunities for Denver’s youth. You can help aspiring young professionals in your field become fully immersed in the industry, broadening their horizons and building their college and career portfolios.  Launch Internship video

CareerLaunch Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Students Selected?
Students who are eligible for the CareerLaunch internship programs are high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in STEM courses. Students are required to complete and/or submit the following:

  • Online application including industry-specific skills self-assessment
  • Teacher Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Attendance Record

Each part of the application is scored using a grading scale. Students with the highest scores are invited to participate in a 12-hour Skills Training for Young Professionals. School-based staff will recommend students for placement with specific businesses based on the skills and experience required and location of the company/organization. Businesses will then interview candidates and make their selection.

How Can a High School Intern Contribute to My Company?
Students in the CareerLaunch Internship program have taken courses in your industry and are prepared for the workplace through extensive work-readiness training.  Click here to view specific curriculum and competencies by pathway. Consider what type of project would provide the intern with the opportunity to contribute to the company while gaining valuable skills and experience. This may include machine or tool maintenance, data collection, social media postings, quality assurance, or the development of inventory systems.
What is the Time Commitment?
Students typically work 10-20 hours per week. Work schedules are determined by the student and the intern supervisor.
How Do Students Travel to My Office/Worksite?
DPS arranges transportation through RTD or, in cases where public transportation is not easily accessible, school bus pick up and drop off. Business partner donations will pay for bus passes to help with the cost of transportation.  Whenever possible, we place students in internship locations that they can reach through RTD in an hour or less.
What About Child Labor Laws?
We often get questions about Child Labor Laws (State and Federal). Here are some rules of thumb:

  • Students 15 and older are allowed to work up to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week during the summer.
  • Students 15 and younger must work between 7 AM-9 PM.
  • Students 15 and younger can work in an office, retail store, etc.
  • Students 16 and 17 can work in any business as long as they are not performing hazardous work.
  • Students cannot drive a vehicle as part of their internship duties.
  • Students under 18 cannot be over 10 feet off the ground and cannot operate power driven machinery: a) woodworking machines b) Metal-forming machines c) Punching or shearing machines,e) Paper products machines f) Shears g) Automatic pin-setting machines
  • No roofing, handling explosives or radioactive material. No mining.
  • Students under 16 are not allowed to work inside manufacturing facilities, office work away from the plant is acceptable.

If you are your colleagues have particular concerns about Child Labor Laws, please contact one of us at the CareerConnect office and we will happy to discuss them with you.

Will My Company Receive Support During the Internship?
School based staff who have worked with the student throughout the semester will provide additional support, guidance and coaching to students as needed. DPS staff will visit the worksite at least 2 times during the internship program and is available for consultation as needed.

Who Covers Worker's Compensation?
CareerLaunch interns are covered by DPS’ Worker’s Compensation Policy unless they are hired by the company and placed on payroll. More detailed information on DPS worker’s compensation will be provided to all pertinent staff during training prior to the program kick off.

Are Students Paid?
Business partners are asked to contribute a student support fee (maximum $1,200). DPS may be able to provide a waiver for Launch Internship on a case-by-case basis.
What are the Elements of a Great Internship?

  • Internship supervisors should identify at least two training goals that are established at the beginning and evaluated at the end of the internship.
  • Business partners should provide an opportunity for the student to participate in meaningful, productive work. Students eligible for CareerLaunch have been studying your industry for at least a year; they will have skills and knowledge to contribute starting on the first day!
  • Student interns should participate in day-to-day business operations including business and staff meetings, client consultations, etc. to get a well-rounded exposure to many aspects of the business.
  • Students should also be assigned at least one project. An ideal project results in deliverables that benefit the organization even after the end of the internship.

Additional questions?  Email Olivia Barraza Kee, Launch Internship Program Coordinator at and Monica Schultz, Work-Based Learning Manager at

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