KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly 500 Kansas City area high school students are getting ready for the final week of their Pro X Internship program, where they spend five weeks at one of 91 companies across the metro. The students get a stipend of $1,200 during the program while they get valuable professional experience.

“It is putting money in my pocket but it’s also building my experience, giving me a cheat code into the future that I know a lot of people my age aren’t getting right now,” said Morgan Lewis, who has been interning at Trozzolo Communications Group this summer.

Interns work in teams to complete projects that are directed to real life client work that the companies do. At the same time, they get training in financial literacy, professional, and interpersonal skills.

“Because how you appear is everything,” Lewis said. “How you are perceived is everything. It helps a lot in the workplace.”

For interns like Ronny Lenzy, his internship at the shoe company Running Well is setting him up to one day run his own company.

“I’ve learned how to manage a business and how to guide and go through different steps to keep a business,” Lenzy said.

Evergy Senior Manager of Community Relations Michelle McConnell says the interns in her company have been working on engaging crowds more at Plaza Lights displays, introducing them to the kind of corporate guidelines that even adults often struggle with.

“They’re looking at things like branding guidelines,” McConnell said. “They were like, ‘OK, we really want to match your brand guidelines, would this fit your community engagement strategy?”

While they learn the ins and outs of a professional career, Pro X Employer Coordinator Shannon Hancock said the students walk away with general knowledge about much more.

“It’s the soft skills of learning to be on a team, it’s soft skills of learning to walk in a room and shake hands with someone,” Hancock said. “Every student no matter their social location, deserves an opportunity and the chance to do something a little different than what’s immediately around them.”

The students give presentations about their projects early next week with the top presentations happening again at an event at Arrowhead.

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