Celebrating 15 Years of Paid Internships
The GreenLife Job Readiness paid internship program in Theodore Roosevelt Park is celebrating 15 years of horticulture and work-life skills training for local high school students. Launched in 2002 through generous support from The Rudin Foundation, GreenLife was conceived by Friends of Roosevelt Park and then-City Councilmember Gale Brewer, currently Manhattan Borough President.
High school students prepare for careers
Each year, the program sponsors six to eight sophomores and juniors from The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers to work in the 10-acre park space surrounding the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The students commit to participating in the program four days a week during their summer breaks in July and August, or on Saturdays in the spring or fall. Under the supervision of a New York City Parks Department gardener, they learn essential gardening skills, including planting bulbs and seeds, raking weeds and mulching. In the process, they are exposed to such valuable work-life disciplines as punctuality, dependability, teamwork and other experiences that will help prepare them for future careers. As an added benefit, the students are eligible to take after-school courses at the American Museum of Natural History for free.
“A paid summer internship that provides crucial life skills in a beautiful setting is a win-win situation,” explains Peter Wright, president of Friends of Roosevelt Park. “Each season, these dedicated students get to see the fruits of their labor and with the added benefit of knowing their contributions have been integral part of what makes Roosevelt Park a green oasis.”
How are GreenLife interns selected?
Students are selected through written applications, teacher recommendations, and a week of work in early spring in the park as part of their course work. During the school year, participants sign up for only one season at a time. More information is available through the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers.