Dream Project

The University of Washington Dream Project’s High School Lead (HSL) internships offer passionate UW undergraduate students hands-on opportunities in education to engage in community-based learning. As a paid internship , students are provided the option to learn, gain opportunities contributing in public high schools, and reflect on their experiences. High School Leads (HSLs) will commit an average of 8 work hours per week. This time will be spent in the community supporting undergraduate mentors and engaging mentees, in The Dream Project Center supporting mentors outside of the classroom, and in professional development sessions. To enable HSL interns to fully commit 8 hours per week to the program, interns will receive a $750
stipend per quarter, totaling $2250 for the entire term.

Through partnerships with local public schools and community-based organizations, the Dream Project High School Lead Interns actively immerse themselves in community and learning while facilitating mentorship between peer undergraduate mentors and high school students. As an internship with a stipend, this learning opportunity supports local under-resourced high schools and eliminates financial barriers: high schools receive support from student interns with post-secondary planning initiatives, while undergraduate students interested in education are supported to explore this career path by receiving an educational stipend that enables them to embark on an internship experience in local public high schools.
The HSLs serve as the primary representatives at each of Dream Project’s partner high schools to support mentors in their work with high school students and to liaise with school staff on Dream Project-related administrative functions. Between 2 and 3 HSLs are placed at each partner high school.

Internship Values & Learning Objectives

Value #1: Advocacy

Interns will learn information, tools, and resources to assist in navigating complex systems and overcoming barriers related to accessing post-secondary pathways. Interns will coach mentors in using these tools so that they can better support mentees in accessing the post-high school opportunities of their choosing.

Value #2: Collaboration

Interns will gain experience working collaboratively as HSL co-lead pairs and in teams as part of the larger HSL cohort and Dream Project student leadership team. Interns will also gain experience working directly with school staff to troubleshoot visit challenges and pursue school-designated goals for supporting mentees.

Value #3: Community Engagement

Interns will build self-awareness and practice cultural humility as they learn about and experience the school community they are placed in. Interns will explore the impact that identity and privilege have on community work and be reflective about their own identity, experiences, privilege, and positionality.

Value #4: Equity

Interns will develop a critical and complex lens for understanding the U.S. educational system as it relates to access, opportunity and social mobility. Interns will develop a nuanced understanding of the structural and institutional barriers and forms of oppression that exist within the U.S. public education system, and the impact they have on student experiences and outcomes, particularly focusing on underrepresented and/or marginalized populations.

Value #5: Self-Initiative and Accountability

Interns will learn about and display self-initiative and leadership through coordination of mentorship high school visits and facilitation of Dream Project quiz sections (breakouts). Interns will reflect on their leadership styles and experiences, honing their skills and practices. Interns will also be accountable for their actions and hold mentors accountable according to program expectations. Interns will engage in giving and receiving critical and constructive feedback.


  • Attend an all-day orientation and training session on Saturday, February 23 (10am-4pm) to receive important information from staff, meet co-leads, and interact with the HSL cohort.
  • Contribute impactful work by collaborating with Dream Project partner schools serving local communities.
  • Serve as a Dream Project representative in our schools, developing strong reciprocal relationships with school staff and administrators.
  • Engage and facilitate in intentional reflection on community, intent, impact, and identity through attending EDUC 260/360, and UW service learning course (EDUC 369) each quarter for the duration of the internship. This includes anti-oppression practices and perspectives that include diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Support peer learning through planning and leading high school visits with assigned school’s mentors to prepare them for high school visits, and explore important knowledge and perspectives related to social justice, college access, and mentorship strategies.
  • Attend weekly cohort meetings on Wednesdays from 3:30-5pm for professional development, skill-based workshops, and community engagement.
  • Support the program with various efforts related to recruitment, retention, and events. This includes tabling to increase mentor numbers and taking on planning and day-of responsibilities at various events throughout the school year.
  • Define personal learning experience by completing a learning agreement that states internship goals, while engaging in bi-quarterly reflection and feedback sessions with staff.


  • Develop professionalism and effective communication and classroom facilitation skills.
  • Develop teamwork and conflict resolution skills.
  • Hone reflective, critical thinking, and analytical skills.
  • Gain experience working in diverse environments.
  • Receive the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real-world settings and develop a racial equity lens.
  • Learn about the public school systems and gain experience working directly with school staff and administration.