You may be in high school but you still don't know what you want to be when you grow up. This is completely normal. Internships can help you decide what you want to be.
While they can be very competitive (trust me, I know) they can help you gain work experience, more opportunities, and they just open more doors for you. Here is a list of summer internships for high school students.
LA Times High School Insider
For all my fellow aspiring journalists out there, the LA Times High School Insider Internship is a paid six-week internship for high schoolers. Through this internship you will write stories, partake in workshops, and more. Interns work 30 hours a week from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm.
They are paid $16 per hour. This internship is hybrid if you live in the Los Angeles area and fully remote if you live outside the area.
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Senate Page Program
The Senate Page Program is an extremely prestigious political science internship that involves you paging for a US Senator. Duties include delivering messages, carrying bills and amendments and preparing for Senate sessions. While this internship can take place in the summer, it is also available in the fall and spring.
All rising juniors and seniors who are 16 or 17 years old, live in the US, and have a 3.0 GPA or higher can partake in this internship. Only 30 pages are chosen each session, so it is hard to get in.
The Microsoft Internship is a four-week paid internship for rising high school seniors who are at least 16 years old. This internship lasts from July to August and you will be paid $20 per hour. You must attend high school within 50 miles of Redmond, Washington. Through this program you will be taught computer science concepts, gain mentorship from Microsoft employees, and develop career readiness skills.
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All aspiring STEM majors who have a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 unweighted scale and are at least 16 years old should try to apply for an internship at NASA. The internship has fall, spring, and summer sessions. In the summer, this internship will last ten weeks from late May or early June to August.
NASA interns are paid about 15 dollars per hour. Through this internship you will be mentored and get hands-on experience with space exploration and aeronautics research.
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Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program
This internship is a good one for all interested in environmental studies, biology, fisheries, and aquatics. The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is an eight-week paid summer internship for high school juniors and seniors. They get paid a $3,000 stipend over the course of eight weeks and every two weeks they get a paycheck of $750. Activities include taking fish population surveys, snorkeling, water quality testing, and much more.
NOAA Geosciences Bridge Program
This is a six-week paid internship hosted by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for graduating high school seniors who are planning to pursue a career in the field of geosciences, primarily from underrepresented groups. In this internship, you will be introduced to geographic information systems, atmospheric sciences, and ocean sciences.
Bank of American Student Leaders Program
The Bank of American Student Leaders Program is an eight-week paid business internship program for high school juniors and seniors. The criteria include being legally authorized to work in the USA without sponsorship, working 35 hours a week, participating in a week-long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, permanently residing in one of the locations and being in good standing at your school.
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National Institute of Health Summer Program
This is an eight-week paid summer internship for aspiring physics, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and medical majors. You need to be at least 16 years old, be a US citizen, and enrolled in high school or college. Through this program you will sit through lectures, partake in career development workshops, and partake in Summer Poster Day.
Let's be honest, most of the internships on this list are extremely competitive, hard to get into, and are aimed more at upperclassmen. However, a more local internship will be easier to get into, more inclusive for each grade level, and you will not have to pay expensive travel fees to partake in this. Find the nearest internship in your chosen field and apply for it.
If there are no internships, try cold emailing. You won't know if you don't try.
What is there not to love about internships? They give you valuable real life hands-on experience. While the process of actually getting an internship is very competitive, it will open more doors for you, leading to a better future.