I Am an Applicant

Ladders for Leaders provides paid professional internships to NYC youth between the ages of 16 and 21.  Applicants are evaluated based on academic performance, response to essay questions, and résumé quality. Selected applicants will undertake 20-30 hours of pre-employment training designed to teach essential workplace readiness skills and professional etiquette. Participants will then have the opportunity to interview for summer internships at a variety of companies. Partnering employers make final selections on hiring for the six-week paid internship.

Who is Eligible:

  • Youth between the ages of 16-21 who are enrolled in high school or college
  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00
  • Resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City
  • Anyone with prior work experience, either paid or volunteer
  • Legally allowed to work in New York City

 Ladders for Leaders gives students a unique opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones through:

  • Pre-employment Training: Receive help with resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills.  Learn essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette.
  • Paid Summer Internships: Paid internship opportunities available in a variety of industries to accommodate student interests. For a list of companies we partnered with in 2019 click HERE
  • Opportunity to join our growing Alumni Network:  Broad network of alumni, post-internship opportunities and networking events open to past participants of the program.

Not ready to apply yet? Learn more with our frequently asked questions.


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Let’s succeed together! Refer a friend who may be interested in Ladders for Leaders to gain professional work experience.

I just wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for every opportunity I’ve received all because of Commonpoint Queens Ladders for Leaders. Every summer since the end of high school, I have completed several internships through L4L which helped me grow so much as a professional and also helped me in figuring out what I actually want to do with my life. Because of available programs like this, students like me receive so much opportunities that allow us to get a kickstart in our careers. Currently, I am interning at The Port Authority of NY & NJ and hope to land a full time opportunity with them. Thank you so much for all your support throughout the years.


Shakina Sikder, Port Authority 2019 

I would like to Thank You for all the hard work you do serving students from underrepresented groups such as myself and connecting us with opportunities that are not easily accessible to us. Initially coming to Ladders for Leaders last year I was discouraged not being placed however, this year proved my determination. As you know I’ve interned at Wiley this summer and all I can say is WOW! Not only have I interned but I have also be offered to work part time during the school year and in December welcomed to discuss full time opportunities. My experience has been nothing short of amazing. While deciding which company I wanted to be apart of this summer I found every reason not to choose Wiley, the distance from home, I was the only “black person “ accepted, I worried about fitting in, but as you can see it has been one of the best decisions ever. God blessed me to be able to choose and be chosen. I said if I’m going to intern here I’m going to “Intern with Impact”. Now I work somewhere where I feel valued and my skills are not overlooked but appreciated and cultivated. This experience taught me to stop looking for reasons “not to”, stop making excuses that only sound good to you, and accept that if it found you then there is “purpose” in it . I don’t know if I will stay here forever, I just know that I will never let my worries and anxiety hinder me from making my mark! 


Alyssa Gibson, Wiley 2019

alyssa gibson ladders for leaders wiley intern