Makese Powe of Long Beach just graduated from Roosevelt High School and plans to head off to college next month. But in the interim, he's skipping four years ahead and experiencing what it's like to work the 9 to 5 shift.
Powe, 18, is interning at the Education & Assistance Corp. -- a nonprofit based in Hempstead that helps local citizens in times of crisis -- through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
The company's Student Leaders program helps high school juniors and seniors across the United States obtain paid internships at local nonprofits over the summer so they can prepare for the world ahead of them while giving back to their community.
Powe, along with four other Long Island high school grads, were selected to participate in the internship program this year with 220 other high schoolers across the country. As part of the program, the five soon-to-be college students traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to participate in a week of leadership training and service learning.
The program also hopes to help address the issue of youth unemployment -- in 2010 the unemployment rate for teens between the ages of 16 and 19 was 20.5 percent in Nassau and 18.3 percent in Suffolk, according to the New York Department of Labor.
Of the five students in the program, Jacqueline Fleuriscar of Hempstead and Michael Short of Massapequa Park are also interning at the EAC with Powe. The other two participants -- Anna Delgado of Selden and Emilie Litsas of Smithtown -- are interning at Girl Scouts of Suffolk County.
At the EAC, Powe said he answers phones, help make appointments, does data entry and has the opportunity to witness how a nonprofit works behind the scenes.
“It’s really valuable for young students to get involved,” he said. “It’s office work, it’s different from like … being a camp counselor.”
Come August, Powe will start classes at Florida A&M University, where he plans to major in biomedical engineering.
But he plans to take his summer experience with him -- "You have to treat college as a job too ... so this is helping me with my time management,” he said.
Bank of America Photo. Bank of America Long Island Student Leaders, clockwise from left, back row, Emilie Litsas, Makese Powe, Michael Short, Jacqueline Fleuriscar and Anna Delgado at the Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.