2024 Mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign Kickoff and Employer Appreciation Event

On Thursday, March 28, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu joined over one hundred employers and partners of the Boston PIC at the annual Mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign Kickoff and Employer Appreciation event, hosted by Bank of America.

Each summer, the City of Boston, and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) collaborate to place hundreds of Boston Public School students in internships at private sector employers as part of the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign. Internships expose students to professional settings, equip them with essential skills, and create lasting change within Boston communities.

The kickoff event celebrated the PIC’s existing employer partnerships while also fostering connections with new companies interested in hosting interns.

In her remarks, Mayor Wu emphasized the importance of youth employment and work-based learning, highlighting how Boston’s youth are the cornerstone of the city’s future.

“How many of you had an internship that changed your life?” asked Mayor Wu, as she shared her own internship experience with Mayor Thomas Menino, which paved the way for her own journey in public service. She emphasized the commitment of her administration to providing similar experiences for Boston high schoolers.

Mayor Michelle Wu speaks before the crowd about the importance of summer jobs for Boston high schoolers.

“Events like these truly highlight Boston’s unwavering commitment to investing in the future workforce of our city. By providing opportunities for youth employment and fostering work-based learning experiences, we are not just shaping careers, but also shaping lives,” said William Ma of SmartBear, an IT company based in Somerville. Ma started his career as a PIC school intern with Fidelity Investments. Now, as the IT Service Desk Team Lead at SmartBear, he hired his first PIC intern two years ago.

Two current students shared their experiences, both emphasizing how their internships have empowered them to transform their local environment and broaden their horizons.

“Internships such as these are what we teenagers need to get a new perspective on what the world has in store for us and to empower us to shape change within our communities,” said Jayleen Melo, a junior at Fenway High School who has interned at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“I have participated in internships that have altered my conception about what I believe is possible for myself to achieve,” said Melo, who hopes to be the first in her family to attend college.

Mizani Benjamin, a junior at English High School, recounted his experience interning at WS Development in the Seaport District, highlighting the invaluable lessons in professionalism, property management, and self-discovery.

“If I had to describe my experience with them the past summer in one word, it would be monumental,” said Benjamin. “Being around the presence of such amazing people will teach you so much about yourself,” he said.

Mayor Wu along with Miceal Chamberlin, President of Bank of America’s Massachusetts branch, and student speakers Jayleen Melo and Mizani Benjamin. (Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Robinson, City of Boston)

“I am a kid from the inner city, and I was only a sophomore in high school at the time, so I didn’t really know what to expect or how they would look at me. Everyone in WS treated me as if I had been there for years. They were all so welcoming and made me feel included. It didn’t just feel like a job; WS felt like a family.”

The event concluded with a call to action to spread the word about the importance of internships and encourage others in the Boston area to partner with the PIC.

The benefits of hosting high school interns extend beyond just the students. By participating in the program, employers not only diversify their workplaces but also gain access to a pool of talented individuals who can contribute to achieving their organizational vision and goals.

Employers interested in hiring high school interns should contact Josh Bruno, Director of Employer Engagement, at

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