Science Horizons Youth Internship Program: success stories
Click on the photos to read our interns’ success stories:
The federal government’s Science Horizons Youth Internship Program provides significant funding and valuable mentorship for young Canadians pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada, it has helped more than 2,500 interns find jobs in their fields of study. Launched in 1997, its focus is on “green jobs” for young people, offering them work experiences and opportunities to contribute to economic growth in the environmental sector.
Internship subsidies are for post-secondary graduates, up to age 30. Science Horizons contributes up to $15,000 for each intern’s salary. The program is offered through delivery agents.
Hundreds of eligible employers have taken advantage of the program by hiring recent college and university graduates. Spokespersons from these organizations speak highly of the program and the talented young people they have hired. Many interns have found full-time employment upon completion of their internships. Others have returned to college or university to further their skills.
Eligible employers include companies from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, indigenous organizations and non-federal governmental bodies. Taking advantage of the funding has allowed organizations to expand their businesses more rapidly by hiring more people for less money. And the interns bring new skills and fresh ideas to their work. Many have exceeded expectations.
Donald Killorn, executive director of Eastern Charlotte Waterways, a non-governmental organization in Black Harbour, New Brunswick, says this of his former intern Eric Brunsdon. “I am happy to keep taking on these really smart people such as Eric, who is a phenomenal analyst. One of the best things is that it opened my eyes to what we need in that role and how people can use computer programs to analyze data effectively.”
Interns can bring a new dynamic to organizations, says Beverly Gingras, a conservation specialist at Ducks Unlimited Canada in Calgary. “Without support programs like Science Horizons our organization would not be able to grow our teams with vibrant, enthusiastic, highly educated new employees and we would not be able to provide meaningful job experiences for young professionals.”
The “green economy” is flourishing in Canada. Opportunities are as varied as Canada’s geography and as diverse as its people. Profiles of interns who have received Science Horizons funding are indicative of the talents these young people bring to the table. They work in many fields, including conservation, restoration, alternative energy and sustainable development.
Internship projects range from the promotion of electronic video monitoring of fishing vessels in the Maritimes to developing geothermal power in British Columbia. Interns have worked on “real-time” pollution monitoring and technologies in Ontario and solar-operated mobile waste-water systems in Prince Edward Island. They have collected and analyzed data on underwater noise pollution in the Bay of Fundy and co-ordinated “citizen scientist” bird surveys in the northern territories and western provinces. They have sought ways to reduce industrial impacts on Alberta’s wetlands and studied the effects of climate change on fish in northwestern Ontario’s Experimental Lakes Area.
Here are their stories.
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