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Student Opportunities

Students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and in Greater Des Moines (DSM), we equip them with many opportunities to succeed. From education reform to youth leadership initiatives, the community rallies together to create student opportunities that will lift the next generation of learners to newfound heights.

For students who want to pursue higher education after high school graduation, visit the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) YouTube Channel to check out their tip of the week. Each week ICAN releases a video tip for students preparing for life after high school. Subscribe to the channel today and prepare yourself for a bright future in higher education.

Future Ready DSM

Future Ready DSM, powered by The Partnership, is a regional campaign with the goal that 75% of the region's adults have postsecondary degrees, certificates or other credentials by 2025 to align with workforce needs.

Internships in Greater Des Moines

From career exploration to securing resume-building experiences, internship opportunities abound in DSM. Learn more about internship programs and opportunities available to DSM students and those looking to establish themselves in the region on the Find An Internship page. The Partnership also collaborates with Tallo, the nation's premier online platform for connecting students with opportunities, to strengthen the DSM talent pipeline.

Iowa College Access Network

The mission of the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is to help prepare students for future success. ICAN's goal is to empower Iowans to achieve their educational and career goals through statewide comprehensive outreach, initiatives and partnerships with schools, groups and businesses. ICAN helps nearly 800,000 students, parents and education professionals prepare for college each year. ICAN’s team of Student Success Advisors work directly with Iowa students and their families to help them plan for a career and college, file for financial aid, master their financial situation and more. 

For more information, contact Jenae Sikkink, Senior Vice President of Talent Development.

Opportunity Passport®

The Opportunity Passport® is a financial capability and asset building strategy aimed at advancing the economic well-being of young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. The program has served the Greater DSM area since 2005. In 2022, under a new partnership between Youth Policy Institute of Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) , the program will be housed and managed by Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families.

Summer Youth Experience Program 

Des Moines Area Community College’s Summer Youth Experience Program (SYEP) seeks to make a difference for local youth by providing them with work-readiness training and workplace experience. Participants are placed with an area employer for eight weeks. During this time, youth receive support from SYEP through their SYEP mentor and weekly cohort meetings. The program is open to ages 14 to 21.

Y-ExCL Summer

Y-EXCL Summer is a paid, 10-week work-based experience for individuals 14 to 21 years old to develop and strengthen employment skills while also learning about education and training necessary for future goals. Prior to the work experience, participants undergo a mandatory, two-week (paid) training period that covers core competencies of proper workplace ethics, communication, attire and time management.

Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI)

Part of Lead DSM, the Youth Leadership Initiative releases untapped potential in the next generation of community leaders. In the program, high school students learn skills that will propel them into their next phases of life and into their careers. High school freshman, sophomores and juniors can apply for this 9-month program in the spring of each year.