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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five hundred high school students and businesses have a few more days to potentially score a paid internship this summer.

ProX is an organization that pulls together Kansas City area businesses and students to give the student real world learning experiences while helping grow various industries across the metro.

The summer internship program gives students a chance to be matched with a company that does work they’re interested in while also getting a $1,250 stipend, paid by the Kaufman Foundation.

“It was definitely one of the most insightful experiences I have ever had in my entire lifetime,” said 2021 intern Naina Singh, who worked at Kansas City communications firm Trozzolo.

Singh says it helped her cement her passion for business, directed which college she applied to, and expanded her horizons by working with students she otherwise wouldn’t have met.

“[Interns] said what they appreciated about it was that it opened their eyes to opportunities that they didn’t know about in the past,” said Trozzolo Executive Vice President of Client Services Julie Robinson.

Robinson said her interns work with clients and even developed plans that the clients implemented to reach their target audience.

“It’s not just a theoretical exercise,” Robinson said. “It really has real world application, and these students are creating solutions that have real impacts on Kansas City businesses.”

The students get five weeks of learning, ending with a presentation laying out what they learned and how they contributed to the company.

“It’s really important that employers look at this as their next workforce, but also what perspectives they can bring to help heighten some of those areas that are their pain points,” said ProX Director Thalia Cherry.

That’s why Cherry wants to see the program expand in the next few years by getting even more businesses and students involved.

Fundraising consulting firm Byrne Pelofsky + Associates Co-Founder Lisa Pelofsky says the students benefit from the real-world experience but the entire business ecosystem in Kansas City benefits from growing the next generation of talent.

“To me, this is about creating pipelines and not just pipelines for my business directly but pipelines for industry overall,” Pelofsky said.

That’s true for Singh, who says she wasn’t focused on returning to Kansas City after college before her internship, but now has met start-up founders and realizes there’s a big role she could play in her hometown.

“I feel like it’s a great place to start, especially because of the community that exists here already,” Singh said.

If you want to be involved either as an intern or a business that hosts interns, click here.