City of Minneapolis Prepares Students for Real Life

Updated: 12/20/2012 10:53 PM By: Todd Wilson

Mariam Demello is featured in a skit for the "Step Up Program" with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. The Southwest high school grad interned with the mayor last summer.    

"Working for mayor Rybak was a privilege," Demello said.

STEP-UP is the City of Minneapolis' summer jobs program. They train students and then place them in paid, professional summer jobs. Interns are matched with jobs based on their interests and skills and work at their summer job from mid-June to mid-August and earn at least $7.25 per hour.

"We actually surveyed our alumni last year, about 85% of them had gone on to college. About a third of them had already come back and worked with their step up employer," Step Up director, Jeremiah Brown said.

The jobs can range from working with the Twins, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to Wells Fargo to name a few.

Mariam says, in her junior year she was recruited by representatives of Step Up that came to her school.

"They were like, do students want a job over the summer? I was like, of course, what else am I going to do with my summer, I might as well get an interesting job," Demello said.

In the summer of 2011 she worked with the city's fire inspections services. Then in 2012 Demello worked with mayor Rybak. She says, the experience she gained in her internship will help her in her chosen field of law.

"It allows you to become a good problem solver and I feel like as an attorney that's a very important skill to have," Demello said.

If you are interested in the program, click here .