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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.

Avenue Scholars Des Moines Public Schools Internships

Avenue Scholars provides comprehensive, individualized support services to help eligible students in Des Moines area high schools identify, prepare for and ultimately enter financially sustaining, high-demand careers requiring an associate degree or less. Programming begins in the student’s junior year of high school and continues uninterrupted through postsecondary training and for six months following career entry. Avenue Scholars takes a holistic approach to career preparation to ensure students are set up for success. Visit Avenue Scholars Des Moines to see how employers can get involved! 

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 and Inclusive Strategies.

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG)

The mission of Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduate (iJAG) is to ensure a future Iowa where youth are resilient and well-prepared with skills, purpose and opportunities. iJAG has been partnering with high schools and Central Iowa businesses to implement a continuum of Work Based learning services for students. Through collaborative partnerships and innovative approaches, iJAG bridges education and employment to build strong communities and unlock the potential of “Every Student. No Matter What!” This statement reflects the commitment to uplift youth who may experience significant barriers to graduation, learning in-demand and employability. To learn more or get involved, check out the iJAG website.

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.

The Legacy Project: Career Ready Collective

The Legacy Project: Career Ready Collective is a community-driven, career development program to prepare youth for the future of work. The Career Ready Collective is funded by the Principal® Charity Classic with support from Sammons Financial. The primary objective of the Career Ready Collective is to introduce youth to a variety of professional skills that will increase their knowledge and confidence over the course of the six weeks. Participants will be inspired by nationally recognized keynote speakers, develop their professional skills and network with interns and business professionals from across the region. The curriculum and program have been developed by The Partnership with support from The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University. 

For more information, contact Lexi Shafer, Director of Workforce. 

Y-ExCL Summer Program

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.

Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP)

The Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP) offers subsidized summer employment opportunities for at-risk high school youth. YSEP provides nine weeks of paid part-time (20-30 hours) work experience at non-profit and public agencies throughout the community. The program supports the positive development of youth by engaging them in meaningful employment, job skills workshops and career exploration while providing leadership and community involvement opportunities. YSEP creates a supportive learning environment where students develop an understanding of the direct link between academic achievement and future career aspirations, the basic skills needed to find and keep a job and the value of giving back to their community through service-learning projects.