TRUE Mentors’ Internship Program is a year-long college and career readiness program for teenagers in Hoboken. Each teen hired will be given training and paired with a mentor to work on a project in partnership with a local business. Teens are required to work a minimum of 4 hours per week at a local business throughout the school year. Throughout the program teens are offered college and career readiness workshops, one on one help with college applications, help finding a job, visits to local colleges, and life skills training.
TRUE Mentors is currently looking for mentors, businesses and interns for the 2018-2019 school year. The internship program is open to 9th-12th grade students interested in working with a mentor on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30pm. Interested teens can submit an online application for the 2018-2019 school year today!
Benefits to the teen intern
Valuable work experience
Encouragement for faster learning and growth—both personal and professional
Increased confidence in their skills and abilities
Access to role models
One on one college planning instruction
Critical job skills (interviewing, time management, resume writing, etc.)
Increased communication skills
Benefits to the businesses
An opportunity to mentor a Hoboken teen
Greater cultural and community awareness
A chance to give back and build a community
Increased loyalty and retention with more motivated & engaged employees
Promotion through TRUE Mentors website and materials
People are 77% more likely to stay in a job if they are in a mentoring relationship—particularly your younger generations. 35% of employees who do not receive regular mentoring look for another job within 12 months.
(Emerging Workforce study by Spherion, 2012)
Mentoring fills your leadership pipeline: Employees who received mentoring were promoted 5 times more often than those who did not. (Forbes).
Benefits to the mentors
Specialized training to help prepare for the internship
Curriculum to support the teen through the internship
Satisfaction of helping a youth achieve in college goals & their career
A chance to share your professional skills through weekly meetings with your mentee
Opportunity to change a young person’s life
Improved communication and people skills
Since the spring of 2014, he’s provided four Hoboken students an internship within his athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories store. By assigning marketing and business-focused projects, Shawn has witnessed each intern advance in terms of professionalism, business knowledge, and confidence. His last intern came onboard while the company was revamping its website. Shawn tasked the intern with updating the data from Fleet Feet’s old website, categorizing it, and integrating it into the new website, ensuring accuracy of brand and product names, while determining if each product was the most current version available. “It’s an awesome program, especially for local-minded businesses,” Shawn said. “It’s really not a huge commitment. I think the kids greatly benefit, and we do too.
The Ben and Jerry’s internship project this year was focused on promotion and advertising. The goal of the internship was to create different ways to gain the attention of the public, to bring awareness on what is the difference between Ben & Jerry’s and other places, and to inspire them to stop by for a sweet treat after a long day at school or work. “It’s brought more people into the shop, increasing our afternoon line, and it’s helped Kayla gain the knowledge of what we do is not just mere scooping at a regular ice-cream shop. We believe local businesses should foster an environment and offer work experience to help students grow and reach their full potential. We are a values led company that happens to make the best ice cream out there. Our job consist of making a difference in the community and environment, putting smiles on everyone one scoop at a time.”
Meet Our Volunteers
Emily Baum – Workshop Coordinator (2017-2018) & Mentor (2016-2017)
Emily moved to Hoboken in 2014 immediately after graduating from Clarkson University, where she studied Engineering & Management. Emily now works within the Security Risk Management practice of Kroll, where she does design and engineering work. Since January of 2016, Emily has served as a mentor within the Teen Internship Program. Through True Mentors, Emily is able to exercise her passion for student achievement and identity. In 2017, Emily stepped into the role of workshop coordinator, helping to plan an execute our weekly workshops. Her attention to detail and willingness to jump in and take on any projects that come up throughout the year, make her an invaluable member of our volunteer staff.
Jennifer Angelo – Business Liaison (2016-2018)
Jennifer moved to Hoboken in 2016 after graduating from Lehigh University with a BS in Bioengineering. She now works at SJ Associates as a Technical Account Manager, where she represents electronic component manufacturers and travels locally selling their products to a variety of customers. Jen joined True Mentors in the fall of 2016 as a way of helping students achieve their goals and give back to the Hoboken community. In addition to filling in as a mentor each week, Jennifer also assists in the planning of our weekly workshops. In her role as Business Liaison, Jennifer serves as the main point of contact for some of the local businesses we work with, ensuring our teens are placed in jobs appropriate to their skill set and businesses are receiving the level of employee they have come to expect to see from a TRUE Mentors intern.
Michelle Francesconi – Mentor (2016-2018)
Michelle moved to Hoboken in 2012 after graduating from Marist College, where she studied Business Finance, Accounting, and Economics. Since graduation, Michelle has worked in the HR consulting space at Willis Towers Watson. Her primary work focuses on compensation program design and talent management. Michelle had a strong desire to give back to the community she called home and in 2015 she joined True Mentors as mentor within the Teen Internship Program. Michelle has worked with her mentee for two years.
Joanna Buoncuore – Mentor (2016-2018)
Joanna moved to Hoboken in 2015 after graduating from Rutgers University, where she studied Sociology and Criminology. Since graduation, Joanna’s worked in the legal field and is currently a Criminal Investigator for the State of New Jersey. Joanna has always loved being around kids and making a difference. Upon discovering True Mentors at a charity event in 2016, she joined as a mentor within the Teen Internship Program. Joanna spent the past two years helping her mentee, Gabe, navigate his way through junior and senior year of high school. She attended his high school graduation in 2018. Gabe is enrolled in Hudson County Community College and plans on keeping in touch with his mentor throughout college.
Jenna Blondina – Mentor (2016-2018)
Jenna has lived in Hoboken since 2008, where she attended Stevens Institute of Technology, majoring in Business & Technology. She currently works for JPMorgan Chase, leading an Infrastructure Project Management Organization. Since the Fall of 2016, Jenna has been a mentor with the Teen Internship Program, sharing her passion for the Hoboken community with her mentee, Hope. Hope graduated high school in 2018 and is currently enrolled at a 4 year university in New Jersey.
I enjoyed being a friend to my Mentee, being available when she had questions, and hearing about her success. Some of the challenges we faced together included working around and adjusting schedules. I tried to provide her with a study system to help her improve her grades. Her grades were not good and she did not have a study system. It was rewarding to see Rayza apply herself and as a result, she received an A on her test! It was a very fulfilling experience, for both of us. It is an amazing experience when they model you, put things into action and do things we specifically spoke about.
The program really helped me with time management and preparing for college. I also enjoyed working for Fleet Feet. I am very athletic and play softball, so I really enjoyed working with athletic clothing and equipment. The workshops taught me how to maintain eye contact during presentations and avoid saying the word “umm.” The program also helped me not to be nervous and I was able to join prep classes for the SAT’s and Math. I was enrolled into the IEP program in 7th grade. As a result of this internship, I was able to get out of the program. I also gained work experience at my first job which helped me prepare for the future.