New Haven Promise Connects Students with Careers

New Haven Promise Connects Students with Careers

Promise scholars meet with prospective employers at the annual internship fair. Photo credit: New Haven Promise.

New Haven Promise scholars not only have the opportunity to receive up to full tuition at in-state public colleges and university. They are also building their resumes with paid internships that will help them jumpstart their careers once they graduate.

The Careers and Civic Launch Internship Program is a core part of New Haven Promise’s three-part mission to help all students access college, succeed through graduation, and return to New Haven with the skills to contribute to the city and region’s economic growth. The mission is known by its tagline - “To, Through, and Back.”

Now in its fourth year, the internship program started as a pilot with internships for two dozen scholars and has grown to include more than 100 students at various stages in their college careers. Students are earning $2,000 - $5,000 through the program while also gaining valuable work experience, says New Haven Promise Executive Director Patricia Melton.

Many Promise scholars are first generation college students. Prior to the internship program, Melton says, many of them were not aware of the importance of not letting the summer slide by without making progress toward their career goals.

“If they don’t gain experience then they are going to be stuck in line behind the students that do have experience,” says Melton. “In this environment, when you graduate you have to hit the ground running with skills.”

The summer internships also help the students recognize what skills they need to work on when they return to their studies in the fall.

“They go back to school focused on the types of things that are transferable to the workforce,” Melton says.

New Haven Promise has created partnerships with several employers in the city including: Yale University, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven Public Schools, Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University.

The structured internship program offers students resume writing workshops and connects students with prospective employers at an employment fair in January. Students are securing paid internships in accounting, non-profit work, social media and communications, information technology, libraries and various other fields.

New Haven Promise is The Foundation’s largest programmatic funding commitment. In 2016, The Community Foundation renewed its commitment to New Haven Promise with a three-year, $1.3 million grant.

For more information about New Haven Promise, visit its profile on

Did you know?

More than 95 percent of New Haven Promise interns are minority students and 70 percent come from families with incomes of less than $60,000.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.



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