Pathfinders Mentorship Program

Sign Up Now to Host Students & Support NYC Youth

The New York City Department of Education seeks hosts for a unique 7-week internship program. The program, “Pathfinders,” is an integral part of the DOE’s efforts to prepare 9th and 10th grade students for the 21st Century workforce, providing exposure to potential career paths and context for their schoolwork.

It is simple for host companies / organizations to participate, and the experience is extremely rewarding. Plus, the students are paid a stipend thanks to a generous grant so there is no cost to host organizations.

Apply now! to serve as a host next spring, from March 28 through May 20, 2016!
Download the flyer.

Program Dates:

Spring Cycle: March 28 – May 20, 2016

Pathfinders is Unique:
Job Shadow vs. Internship vs. Pathfinders Mentorship

  Job Shadow Internship Pathfinders
Timing Short-term (days) Short-term (months) Short-term (6 weeks)
Goal Allows students to see how the knowledge they’ve gained in an academic setting is applied to an actual business environment. On-the-job training in a field that students wish to learn more about. Allows students to see how the knowledge they’ve gained in an academic setting is applied to a professional environment.  Host companies provide opportunities for students professional and personal growth.
Role Strictly observational Hands-on Observational and hands-on

Program Detail:

A main goal of Pathfinders is to provide students with an experience of the professional work environment. This workplace exposure helps students connect their academic studies with real-life workplace understanding. Students will log 30 hours of time at their work site (4-6 hours per week) and can help around the office in areas including:

  • General Office Support (Create and edit Word documents, track inventory in Excel, create PowerPoint presentations, input info/maintain database, develop distribution list and manage mailings, scan and archive documents)
  • IT Support (Inventory equipment, install software)
  • Market Research / Social Media Monitoring (See what activities customers / competitors are engaged in online and on Twitter / Facebook)
  • Basic Design/Web Development (Update website content, create basic sites)
  • Testing (Test websites, software to identify issues)

Students selected for the program demonstrate a strong sense of curiosity, friendliness, and passion for both technology and learning.

To prepare for their mentorships, the DOE provides students with intensive training on workplace etiquette, careers, and interviewing. Host organizations receive a brief orientation session either in-person or by phone, a site visit from DOE staff, and ongoing check-ins to ensure a successful engagement for all. DOE is asking organizations to host a minimum of two students.


Students participating in Pathfinders will receive a stipend through the New York City Department of Education. THERE IS NO COST TO THE HOST ORGANIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM and students are not employees of the host organization.

What Does My Organization Get Out Of The Program?

This program is an important part of building New York City’s 21st Century workforce and a great opportunity for your company / organization to both give back and learn from the next generation of leaders. Additionally, overseeing students can be great experience for your organization’s budding managers! Finally, your company / organization will gain public recognition from New York City leaders by participating in this important program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I propose my own project?
Yes! We strongly encourage organizations to brainstorm projects that are tailored to their needs and are happy to work with you to develop projects that match the students’ skills with your needs.

What students are participating?
All students participating in Pathfinders are high school freshman and sophomores participating in the Software Engineering Pilot at their schools and are between 14 and 16 years old.

How many students is my organization expected to host?
Organizations are asked to host a minimum of two students (students are assigned to projects in pairs) and are welcome to host more students.

Who is responsible for supervising students?
Companies / organizations should appoint someone in your office to serve as the supervisor. This person will be responsible for exposing students to office culture, answering questions, and overseeing the students for the duration of the program. New York City Department of Education staff will monitor student progress and provide ongoing support.

Can I still apply if I run a business out of my home? Are there any other restrictions?
Students must report to offices in commercially-zoned workspaces, not in homes. Students can work up to 3 hours per day after school until 7pm.


For questions or to request additional information, contact

List of Current & Past Host Organizations

  • 25 Realty
  • Animoto
  • AnySizeDeals
  • Brooklyn Cookie Company
  • Caribbean Cultural Center
  • Codesters
  • Dechert
  • DoITT
  • Ecohabitude
  • Ernst & Young
  • Global Kids
  • GrubHub
  • Hunter College
  • INBOX25
  • Jefferson Awards Foundation
  • Kandu
  • Kickstarter
  • Kinvolved
  • Knowledge House
  • Made by Many
  • Nulab
  • NY Casa Group
  • NY Code + Design Academy
  • NYC Economic Development Corporation
  • PA’LANTE Harlem
  • Positive Influence
  • PR Newswire
  • qbeats
  • Roko Labs
  • Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
  • Staten Island MakerSpace
  • TCI College of Technology