Skills for Rhode Island’s Future (SkillsRI) will receive a 3-year, $1.5 million grant from American Student Assistance® (ASA) to expand the PrepareRI High School Internship Program. The grant will allow SkillsRI to place additional students into paid internships this summer and to hire 3 career-readiness coaches to work with students year-round from high-need districts to help them gain the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed for their postsecondary success.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced the grant at SkillsRI’s annual PrepareRI Internship Employer Engagement Breakfast today at Citizens Bank Corporate Campus in Johnston. “I’m thrilled that PrepareRI will be receiving a $1.5 million grant from American Student Assistance. This critical funding will allow an additional 100 high school students to participate in PrepareRI’s work readiness training and paid internship program this summer. We are on a mission to improve career readiness for all Rhode Islanders, and this grant will propel our work forward.”
Jean Eddy, President and CEO of ASA®, addressed the audience of nearly 140 employer guests to stress the importance of working together to help students achieve their education and career goals. “At ASA we believe that students should explore and experiment with different career paths early in their education journey so they can uncover their own interests and abilities, and the PrepareRI internship program does exactly that. We are committed to this initiative and proud to fund its expansion so that more Rhode Island students can benefit from summer internships and year-round career preparedness activities.”
Nina Pande, Executive Director of Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, thanked Jean and the ASA board of directors for their partnership. “Thanks to the support of American Student Assistance, we will be able to increase the number of PrepareRI student interns from 326 last summer to 425 students this year. These meaningful opportunities will help students gain valuable, hands-on experience and prepare them to achieve success in their future careers.” Mike Grey, chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Board, added “providing young people with work-based learning experiences is an essential part of Rhode Island’s workforce development strategy. The PrepareRI program not only allows students to develop their skills and explore different career paths; it also helps build a pipeline of future talent for our state’s employers. I’m thrilled that this grant will give even more students access to these opportunities.”