Gaining workplace experience as an intern before beginning your first job is a key to success for many of us. It is even more important for our students. Unfortunately, there are few paid internships for high school students in urban communities of Los Angeles such as Inglewood and Watts.

Our Work is Success Internship Program (WISIP) addresses this need. WISIP provides paid summer internships to selected “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA) high school students. In our first two years of this program, we’ve provided 22 internships.

This program included WISIP workshops, which were held from February to May during our Saturday Academy in Inglewood. The workshops served as learning opportunities to teach our Dreamer Scholars work-related character building, workplace awareness, and career development. Topics included specific skills such as resume writing, networking, organizing, communicating, and working with computers.

We were fortunate to have a group of employee volunteers from Sony Pictures present a number of professional development training sessions during our Saturday Academy. This group of millennial employees, known internally as the Emerging Professionals, is one of many similar groups at the studio that host speaker series, career development seminars, panel discussions, outreach events, volunteer activities, and social/cultural events for Sony Pictures employees.

Sony Pictures Employee Volunteers teaching at IHADLA
Sony Pictures employee volunteers conducting professional development training at our IHADLA Saturday Academy in Inglewood

Meet Inglewood Dreamers in WISIP and Their Career Goals

The eleven Dreamers whom we placed in internships in year one dedicated large amounts of time and effort to be selected for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA) WISIP program. We are proud to present the first class of WISIP interns with their first and second career interests.

Photography by Kevin Tidmore Los Angeles IHADLA WISIP Interns

Kevin Tidmore, a parent of one of the interns, is a professional photographer and kindly offered to take head shots of the Dreamers during a Saturday Academy workshop. Each student received copies of these professional photos, which can be used for future job applications and personal branding for online sites such as LinkedIn.

Learn more about our second class of WISIP interns here.

How WISIP was Developed

Internships for High School Students Work is Success Internship Program Logo IHADLAA few years ago, the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHAD) launched an internship program to help Colorado Dreamers gain work experience in their local communities. CIHAD named this program the Work is Success Internship Program, also known as WISIP. WISIP’s mission is to prepare gifted and talented Dreamers and place them in a 6-10 week summer internship.

The main goals of this internships for high school students program are to provide students with an opportunity to:

  • gain firsthand experience in the workplace
  • create and expand professional and social networks
  • expand their industry knowledge

Based on the success of the CIHAD, IHADLA decided to incorporate a similar internship program into our overall program model. Our goal is to help our high school Dreamers gain exposure to workplace practices and gain experience in the business world. CIHAD was kind enough to share its internship program model with us.

Thank you to Algebra Cool Kids Club for providing internships for the first year of our WISIP program.

If you have any questions about WISIP, please contact our WISIP Team at

If you are interested in sponsoring an IHADLA Dreamer in a workplace position or would like to sponsor the payment of an internship, please contact Wilma Franco at