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Students at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, a member of Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), gained real world experience through internships this summer. They worked at architectural firms, hospitals, nonprofit agencies and engineering and computer companies. For several students, these positions affirmed what they want to study in college and broadened their view of these industries. Thanks to a gift given by Attorneys Serving the Community to set up an internship fund and additional funding by YWPN, each student received a stipend.

Katie Albritton, Irma Rangel’s community liaison, welcomed the 2016 interns and company representatives at the Summer Internship Presentations on Sept. 19. Then, each intern told about her experience and what she learned.

The following are excerpts from a few students:

Michelle R., U.T. Southwestern (UTSW) Stars Program – “This internship broadened my horizon and made me think about being a researcher.” As one of the few high school students who worked at this prestigious internship, she performed research, interacted with doctors and students and presented her findings on her last day to UTSW’s Dr. Michael Brown, who won a Nobel Prize.

Daniela C., BRW Architects – “From the beginning, I knew that working at an architecture firm as an intern was going to have a huge impact on me, on what I thought of architecture in general…Yes, the exciting architecture field can contain endless ways of interpretation, but you can’t forgot that without marketing and accounting, one will be only one-third as successful. I can genuinely say that I have found new interests in these fields.”

Amy P., HNTB – “When you look at a road or a sidewalk, there’s a real world application of math to create it. I am so much more appreciative of the hard work of transportation.”

Kourtnie N., Bryan’s House – At this nonprofit that serves children with medical or developmental needs with services and care, she worked in the social services area, on a back-to-school drive and caring for very young children. “I knew I liked kids, but I didn’t know how much I loved them.”

Lizzie S., NEC Corporation of America – “I was able to complete an Inbound Marketing Certification from Hubspot, a marketing automation technology vendor that NEC uses daily. I had no experience with marketing, and it was awesome to learn so much in a short amount of time and now want to pursue a career in it.” Her highlight was meeting the NEC CEO who told her, “Being a minority isn’t a set back, but a step up.”

Bryan Williams, NEC senior manager of corporate marketing, said of Lizzie, “On more than one occasion, Lizzie made what I thought were very mature assessments of why she enrolled at Irma Rangel and why she found it sensible to be participating in the internship program. I firmly believe that Lizzie will continue in life with much success as she possesses the internal traits necessary to continue to grow and prosper.”

Lynn McBee, YWPN CEO, said, “We’ve heard from many intern supervisors about how impressed they were with the caliber of our students who are excited about learning. As the private part of the public/private partnership, Young Women’s Preparatory Network works hard to ensure that if one of our students is interested in a certain field, we are going to make sure she’s exposed to that work environment by providing these paid internships.” Learn more at

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