Support Ladders for Leaders
Since its inception in 2006, Ladders for Leaders has helped introduce high achieving and motivated young people to the world of work, while also providing the tools and skills they need to become successful young professionals. While creating a pipeline of career opportunities for a new, talented, diverse young adult population, the program has provided NYC businesses access to a skilled pool of potential future employment prospects.
Who are our participants?
Outstanding students from top high schools and colleges
Trained to work in a professional work environment
Skilled in the use of technology and social media
Diverse representing various cultural and educational backgrounds
The Ladders for Leaders program at Commonpoint Queens provided us with a top-notch intern for the summer. The team at Ladders for Leaders worked diligently to present us with high-quality and intelligent candidates that fit the qualifications we were looking for to do special project work in our research department. The intern we secured for the summer was an outstanding fit for the role and helped our business kick off a new initiative that we are currently scaling for future growth. We would highly recommend this program to other employers and look forward to hiring another Ladders for Leaders intern in the future!
– Michael Bizenov, President of Sound Royalties
Join Our Network of Supporters! There are many ways to partner with Ladders for Leaders:
How Can You Support the Program?
Donate funds to support program costs
A contribution of $2,500 helps fund a structured summer internship opportunity for inner-city youth that are not otherwise exposed to professional resources. Your contribution will allow for students/interns to work this summer and gain not only financial independence but also transferable skills that will last a lifetime
See What Our Participants Are Saying:
“I am grateful for Ladders for Leaders for connecting me with Ponce Bank for this internship opportunity. I am learning a lot about bank operations, customer relationship, and cash handling procedures. This is a very good exposure for me since I come from a business major academic background.
Ladders, especially Albina, have been an integral part of the initial application process. She was always available via email. She followed up with me throughout the process in the midst of the craziness with COVID.
I can’t be more grateful for Commonpoint Queens for providing me with amazing opportunities throughout my college career, including this one!”
Mahzabin Afsari, Ponce Bank, Summer 2020
“I’ve worked with Ladders for Leaders before in high school and I loved my experience then. Now a freshman college student, I was looking forward to the opportunity to learn and work through Ladders for Leaders program again. I was disappointed to hear that Ladders for Leaders was unfortunately suspended due to the COVID-19. However, I applied to a few places beforehand, and WCA Technologies, Inc. reached out to ask if I’d be willing to continue with the recruitment process. Ecstatic, I agreed and got the offer. Before I began working, I was nervous about being able to adjust and learn how to work due to the internship being completely remote. However, the WCA Tech team was overwhelmingly helpful, patient, and encouraging. The work I am assigned requires me to get familiar with different platforms and software, which is always interesting to explore. I am also responsible for being able to take and make calls, which develops my professional communication skills. Beyond work, the entire team takes extra steps to make sure all the employees are close and connected. For example, we have occasional team lunches, where everyone chats and catches up in a video call. In addition, there are huddles and meetings that allow me to feel like I’m really part of the team. I am still working and learning at WCA Technologies, and I am eternally grateful for exposure to the technology industry, which is directly relevant to my major, Computer Engineering. I’m excited for the rest of my summer at WCA Tech, and I hope I’ll be able become a valuable member of the team.”
Grace Kim, WCA Technologies, Summer 2020
“My experience with Ladders for Leaders with Commonpoint Queens as my provider has been an amazing. What I love about the program is the freedom to choose which internships I want to apply for. Furthermore, the L4L worked tirelessly to try to put out as many job opportunities as possible. I am assigned at the Port Authority Technical Center working at the Construction Management Division under the Materials Engineering Unit. As a rising college sophomore, the experience at Port Authority is invaluable. I work in the labs as well as having the opportunity to work out into the field without having prior knowledge/experience. Most of all, I am happy about the work environment at Port Authority because all of my supervisors and colleagues have been helpful and welcoming from the start of my internship.”
Ivan Caballero, Port Authority, Summer 2020
“I have always had a wonderful experience with Ladders for Leaders. This is my second year doing the program, and it was a great experience once again. Although it has been a bit difficult to make connections due to the nature of a virtual internship, I have found that my time at Urban Green Council has exceeded my expectations for a virtual internship during a global pandemic. I have felt that the internship has been crafted very well to advance my own personal goals. I have gained a lot of valuable experience in the field of social media marketing, which is what I would like to spend my time doing when I graduate from college. I feel very grateful to be selected to participate in Ladders for Leaders again this year especially considering the circumstances of the hardship of acquiring a position.”
Brooke Harris, Urban Green Council, Summer 2020
“My experience in the Ladders for Leaders program was incredible. This year was strange and rough considering that we are in the middle of a pandemic, though I am so grateful that the Ladders for Leaders program was able to maintain a reliable program. I was frequently emailed a variety of opportunities that I could apply to, which was extremely helpful because I was able to pick and choose opportunities that were fit for me. In no time, I found myself applying to The Paley Center for Media, where I am currently an intern at. Although we have to rely on working remotely, I am in awe of all the work we do and how much freedom I have with expressing my creativity. The whole team is remarkable and I love how we can always help out and rely on each other. With the perfect balance of teamwork and independent work, The Paley Center for Media allows us to grow and learn in an incredible environment. Media is art, and I am beyond excited to wake up every morning with my teammates and bosses to use our voice to make a change in the world.”
Samama Moontaha, Paley Center for Media, Summer 2020
“I have had the opportunity to participate in Ladders for Leaders twice. I was placed in amazing internships both times. I am extremely grateful for Ladders for Leaders for placing me in quality internships where I could expand my resume and grow professionally. Not only do they connect youth to internships, but they also provide support with interview tips and resume building. This summer I worked with BlackRock and their Summer Excellence Internship Program. Unfortunately, it was online this year, however this did not stop me from learning more about the Finance sector. Daily panel discussions and our small group project allowed me to realize that finance is a career that I would like to pursue in the future. The internship was very informative and I benefited immensely from hearing all the employees and guest speakers share their experiences working in various departments at BlackRock. I’ve also had the opportunity to network with successful individuals and other interns.”
Monica Marra, BlackRock, Summer 2020
“The internship I got through Ladders for Leaders in the pandemic inflicted Summer of 2020 truly changed my life in ways I didn’t expect. A lot of my career prospects shut down recently, but at the end of July, I finished up my role as the Operations Intern for the League of Women Voters NYC, which advocates against voter suppression, unlawful redistricting of NYC, and promotes getting out the vote in historically marginalized and disenfranchised communities such as immigrants, the LGBTQ+ and African American community. However, as soon as I finished, I received an offer to come back as the Internship Supervisor for the League of Women Voters, and I’m currently continuing this position throughout the Spring 2021 semester. I came into this position on June 8th, 2020, as an intern myself, and now have the privilege of guiding and mentoring five other interns under me – something I couldn’t have done without access to Ladders for Leaders Program. Due to receiving opportunities like these, the continuation of programs such as L4L is definitely crucial to the career development of many, young New Yorkers like myself.”
Ariana Ahmed, League of Women Voters, Summer 2020
“After completing the series of requirements for the internship, I was selected for a virtual interview due to the outbreak of COVID-19. After the conclusion of the virtual interview, I patiently waited to hear a response from the Comptroller’s Office. And to my surprise, not only was the internship not cancelled by COVID-19 like many other internships I applied for, I was accepted into the highly competitive program. Due to the recent outbreak, the Comptroller’s office had to make severe changes to the program to make it fully virtual such as sending free laptops to all the interns. For the first month of the internship, we were taught the basics of OSC and state accounting in a virtual classroom setting. All the interns were then divided into their specific divisions or “tracks”. I was within the track 1/State Government Accountability (SGA) division, along with three other interns. Within the SGA divisions, all four of the interns were divided into specific SGA functions, I was assigned to working in “Big data” with two of my lead supervisors. This was when the internship really began, as I was trained on how to utilize State Wide Financial (SFS) analytics. SFS Analytics is a vital tool used in obtaining and analyzing data for state audits. I was then trained on what to do for Open data audits, and then I created Electronic Work Papers (EWP’s) on the recent changes that were made to the rules state auditors must follow when carrying out their Open data audits. I also made an academic paper on the importance of Open data, State Financial data, and their uses in government and auditing in addition to giving a presentation of what I learned during my time at OSC.”
Charles Carlin, Office of the New York State Comptroller, Summer 2020
“When I was a confused freshman, I secured myself a summer internship through Commonpoint Queens Ladders for Leaders (L4L) at the Queens Chamber of Commerce. A year later, I was uncertain about my plans and a bit upset due to the fear of not having a productive summer because of the shutdown of Ladders for Leaders program as a result of COVID-19. However, even during such a critical time, L4L gave me the opportunity to rejoin the Chamber as a summer intern. I am really glad to announce that I have been continuing the internship even after my L4L weeks. L4L has been a great guidance in helping me achieve professional skills and find my passions for working in non-profits. I am really thankful to Commonpoint L4L for always providing me with amazing opportunities even at times of uncertainty.”
Tasneem Sultana, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Summer 2020
“During these unprecedented times, your support has enabled me to obtain a valuable opportunity at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) as a Human Resources Intern. Not only will this just be another source of income for me, as I have lost my job due to COVID-19 but, a learning opportunity for a field in business that I am truly passionate about. This internship means a lot to me as I will begin my college journey this fall, and I will develop my career path interning at NYLAG. Interning at NYLAG will enable me to use the power of the law to help New Yorkers in need to combat social and economic injustice in the workforce. NYLAG addresses emerging and urgent legal needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community education to people with low-income backgrounds. This internship will truly be inspiring me to lend a hand to my own community as you did. Once again, your support has opened me to a professional network, built an amazing resume, transformed my communication skills, and most importantly has developed my passion for the business workforce. People like you are giving diverse young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to challenge the status quo and achieve success for the future.”
Jeremy Espinoza, NYLAG, Summer 2020