Building a Foundation for Success

Since 1994, the Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs Program has offered interns a variety of workplace experiences.

Interns from the 2023 Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs Program team up with members of The Community Group, Inc., to collect resources for city schools.

Interns from the 2023 Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs Program team up with members of The Community Group, Inc., to collect resources for city schools.

Published in Dome - Dome July/August 2023

Lynette Floyd remembers the summer when high school students in the Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs Program (JHSJP) traveled to Washington to watch Rep. Elijah Cummings chair a hearing. He surprised the students by acknowledging them on the House floor, and he spent time with them for photos and to talk.

During another summer, Floyd recalls, interns learned job readiness skills. They also defined their dream job, wrote a resume and had a mock interview.

This year, they were part of a mock bill hearing with Stephanie Smith, a Maryland state delegate. They took opposing sides on a bill introduced in the General Assembly while raising $5,000 in resources for students and teachers at Fort Worthington and Henderson Hopkins schools in Baltimore.

Floyd, a government and community affairs specialist at The Johns Hopkins University, is a JHSJP mentor for Baltimore City students age 14 to 21. She is enthusiastic about continuing in this role, which she has held for “10 plus years.”

JHSJP returned to its pre-pandemic in-person format this summer, its 29th year. The program is a partnership among The Johns Hopkins University, the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS) and YouthWorks, a program in the youth services division of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. A virtual ceremony was held Aug. 11 to celebrate the roughly 300 interns and their mentors in this year’s program, which began July 10.

During the internships, which pay $15 per hour, students spend five days each week, five hours each day, learning about a variety of jobs throughout the university and health system. Areas include communications, finance and environmental services, and the interns can shadow medical personnel, says Katie Frey, acting strategic workforce development director for JHHS.

“There’s a lot of emphasis on the behind the scenes people who really make our work tick — and on the job opportunities that lie there,” Frey says. “Just because you want to work at Hopkins doesn’t mean you need a bachelor’s degree, or a doctorate. This program shows that there are ample job opportunities for you to grow and advance.”

Floyd wants the students she works with to have an experience that is meaningful.

“For the students to understand the workplace culture, it is important for them to show up each day with enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn,” Floyd says. “Our intent is to expose them to the great work we do with advocacy and lobbying, community engagement and community investments.” 

Supervisors’ interactions with the interns are “the heart of the program,” says Spencer Carroll, JHHS youth program manager.

“Our supervisors are providing exceptional service,” Carroll says. “And by mentoring and supervising students, the program also gives them an opportunity to take on leadership roles that they may not have in their jobs.

“We get a chance to help mold almost 300 students in the ways of Johns Hopkins. The whole program ties into the core values of education and discovery and service excellence.”

Kayla Washington, an associate graphic designer at Guidehouse, a consulting firm in Washington, worked for several summers in communications as well as government and community affairs as a JHSJP intern. Then, while attending Towson University, she continued working with Floyd as a part-time employee who focused on administrative tasks.

“Although I am in a creative field, all of my experiences at Hopkins helped me develop skills ranging from managing my work calendar properly to knowing how to respond to emails professionally,” Washington says. “My experiences also taught me how to connect with co-workers and form long-lasting relationships … the highlight of my time at Hopkins!”

Donte Stokes, a senior this fall at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland, worked in the medical staff office at Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center this year. He says he helped keep information up to date for doctors while aiding people who came into the office and needed information or assistance.

“I liked my experience there,” he says. “Everyone was friendly, and it was all around good.” 

This year, 252 interns took part in programs at hospitals in the health system, including Howard County Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Sibley Memorial Hospital and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.