Another successful year of the Wanda Fullmore internship program! This program, named after a long-time City employee who started her work as a teen, matches area high school students with departments and divisions across City government. The City employed 18 interns this summer who worked with a mentor to help them develop the skills needed for the individual tasks to which they are assigned. We could not provide the program without the assistance of Common Wealth Development. Staff there worked with the students on life skills to prepare them for the job market.

Mayor Rhodes-Conway speaks to Wanda Fullmore interns

Starting in mid-June, our cohort of Madison youth began learning about their city, thinking critically about how it can best support and serve its residents and youth, and offer opportunities for youth to engage in all it has to offer.

As the capstone of the project-based experiential learning component to the internship, one group of interns focused on the Destination District South Madison visioning project. These students worked to assess what resources already exist, what the current draws to the area are, based on feedback from the community, and what barriers exist to community members accessing the area now. Taking that information, they proposed ways to combat or resolve those barriers, incorporate new attractions and events for the community and engage youth in that section of the City.

Another intern group focused on the Lake Monona Waterfront redesign. This group has spent their summer critically assessing the barriers to accessing the lakefront, how they would envision improving access and what amenities they foresee bringing more Madison families to the waterfront to enjoy the space. Briefly, some of their ideas include improving resources available in Olin-Turville Park and proposing options that would make it more usable for families and children and more accessible to the residents of South Madison, who are currently quite isolated from the space.

It’s great to see the interns focusing on incorporating youth voice and youth input into both projects, considering how to make both more accessible, usable and inviting spaces for residents, and for youth specifically.

The students presented their projects late last week; they were innovative, thoughtful and exciting. The interns have worked incredibly hard over the course of this program. I can’t wait to see what they do next – and hope that they will consider careers with the City in the future!

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