2023 GRAD Summer Internship Program

On July 29th, Open Hand of Fredericksburg celebrated 21 interns, ranging from 14 to 22, for their successful completion of the Gaining Respect and Determination for My Life’s Purpose (GRAD) Summer Internship Program. Our interns attend various high schools within Planning District 16 with the majority coming from Massaponax High School (Spotsylvania Co), Colonial Forge High School (Stafford Co) and James Monroe (Fredericksburg City). We also hosted interns from Caroline High, Gladys Oberle Academy, Homeschooled, other Spotsy and Stafford High Schools and several college students from Germanna Community and Richard Bland College.

Interns attended five days of training workshops where they learned important life and job readiness skills from various speakers in our community. After completion of the workshops, interns were paired with one of our 12 mentors and placed at a local business partner to begin their six-week paid internship. Additionally, each intern was required to give back to the community and volunteer at least 6 hours with a non-profit of their choice. We are so thankful to Stafford Junction, the Stafford County Public School Graphic Imaging Program, Loisann’s Hope House, Central Virginia Family Medicine, Ron Rosner YMCA, City of Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation, New Hope Christian Ministries, Youth of Promise, Sweet Frog, the Lloyd Moss Free Clinic, Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity, the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, Gali’s Café, Fredericksburg Office of Voter Registration and Elections, and Fredericksburg Circuit Court for hosting the 2023 GRAD Interns.

Upward and Onward!

Each of our interns received glowing reviews from our community partners they worked for. Several of our interns were hired to continue their employment!

As our interns prepare to return to high-school, join the workforce or attend college in the fall we wish them continue success and look forward to having them – and their friends – back in 2024!

We are very proud of each of these young people and grateful for the opportunity to share our core values of Faith, Community, Dignity and Career.

“Open Hand gives an opportunity for youth to excel, and make some mistakes, in a job situation with the support of mentors and without the normal pressures of a regular job. I am very much in support of the mission and vision of Open Hand and I look forward to a continued partnership with them through their GRAD program.”

 – Sarah Perry

Downtown Greens