Career Exploration Programs for Arizona High School Students

A list of Arizona summer programs and internships for high school students to gain workplace experience.


Katelyn Harris Lange

1/21/20243 min read

Spot 127 participantsSpot 127 participants
Spot 127 Youth Media Center

About: SPOT 127, a multi-award winning media center, empowers teens to find their voices and engage with their communities through photo, audio and video storytelling. An innovative educational outreach initiative that is a service of public radio, aimed at serving high school students ages 14-18 in the metro Phoenix area. Free in-school, afterschool, and online programs along with summer boot camps provide mentoring and instruction in multimedia production.

AZ Youthforce

About: AZYouthforce is a dynamic career exploration program designed to help young 

adults prepare for and connect to workplace opportunities. This program of Boys & Girls 

Clubs of the Valley places trained teens into paid internships with local and national 

companies, like Bank of America, Footprint Center, Kitchell, Haskins Electric, and  

Avondale Toyota. Youth must be between 16 – 19 years old and enrolled in school. You 

do not have to be a member of Boys & Girls Clubs to apply.

Mayo Clinic CARES Program (Career Advancement, Research, and Education Summer Program)

About: A summer program (in-person & virtual options) for Arizona high school students  (freshman, sophomore, and juniors) interested in exploring careers in health care. The mission of the Mayo Clinic Career Advancement, Research, and Education Summer Program is to expose students to the spectrum of health care careers over the course of a summer and then provide them with a longitudinal mentorship experience. Students selected to participate will receive a stipend for their full participation in the program.

Summer Institute on Medical Ignorance (SIMI Program at the University of Arizona) 

About: ~25 students are accepted for the SIMI program each year. Students work full-time in various medical laboratories and clinics at The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, doing research on such subjects as cardiovascular disease, genetics, cancer, neuroscience and preventive medicine. Maximum consideration will be given to junior and senior students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a 3.0 (or better) grade-point average who have demonstrated an interest in science. Applications are due in January each year. 

Arizona@Work Maricopa County Youth Services Program

About: Youth ages 14 – 24 years old interested in furthering their education and/or finding gainful employment may qualify for workforce services. ARIZONA@WORK - Maricopa County Youth Workforce Services offers a free, year-round program where young adults receive individualized support and services to build the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to be successful in a chosen career pathway.

ASU Summer Programs

About: Access ASU Summer Programs are available for students in grades 8th - 12th in a variety of topics including engineering, leadership, math and the arts. Programs are offered on all four ASU campuses and online, and formats range from day camps to residential programs, where students have the opportunity to live on campus.

Governor’s Youth Commission (Office of Youth, Faith & Family)

About: The Governor's Youth Commission (GYC) is an advisory body composed of high 

school-aged students representing all the state counties and appointed by the Governor. 

The mission of the GYC is to identify and address the most significant challenges facing 

Arizona's youth through innovative community impact projects, establishing partnerships 

with young leaders across the state, and advising the Governor. Applications open in the 


Summer Youth Empowerment Junior and Summer Youth Employment Programs (Greater Phoenix Urban League)

About: The Summer Youth Empowerment Junior Program is a competitive 5-week employment program for teens aged 14 – 15, teaching valuable job skills. These Junior participants earn $14.35 per hour. The Summer Youth Employment offers youth aged 16 – 21 a 5-week paid internship experience. Each participant is assigned a counselor to support their work experience. In addition to earning $15 per hour, participants who complete the required 110 hours of work and job readiness workshops receive an additional $500 at the end of the program.

Career Exploration Program (JAG - Jobs for Arizona Graduates)

About: The JAG Summer Career Enrichment Program provides valuable work experience to youth ages 16 - 21 without a high school diploma. Participants earn $15 an hour and work with esteemed JAG employer partners. This is a fantastic opportunity for youth to enhance skills, build a strong professional network, and earn a competitive wage while working part-time.

ElevateEdAZ (Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation)

About: An innovative program of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, ElevateEdAZ is taking high school education in Arizona to the next level by providing students pathways to high-wage, high-demand careers.

Pathways to Economic Opportunity (Valley of the Sun United Way)

About: This initiative gives Black and Latina young women in the Phoenix area resources to close the wealth gap, by providing job skills training, wrap around supports, financial literacy workshops, work experiences, as well as access to professional women mentors.