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Calling All College Students!

The Harris County Leadership Internship Program (HCLIP), led by Commissioner Rodney Ellis, connects young adults interested in leadership development, community, and public service to career opportunities. HCLIP is designed for youth aged 18 and over pursuing post-secondary opportunities who have an interest in leadership and public service. Through HCLIP, students will immerse themselves in local government programs, policies, and issues as they build professional skills for their future careers. HCLIP is committed to recruiting students from diverse educational, economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds that reflect the diversity of the residents Harris County serves. Harris County Precinct One will make HCLIP a best-in-class summer internship program for public service.

HCLIP evolved from the historic  Leadership Experience & Employment Program (LEE Program) that offered young adults work and career development opportunities every summer for thirty-eight years. Founded by Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee, the LEE Program ensured that youth experienced leadership training and professional development through real-world work experiences in partnership with Harris County and local public service organizations. HCLIP’s funding partnership with the Street Olympics builds on the legacy of the LEE Program and ensures that the future of public service remains strong.

Harris County Leadership Internship Program (HCLIP) Program Details

HCLIP will prepare youth aged 18 and over for potential career paths in public service. Participant benefits will include:

  • Providing the opportunity to apply knowledge from their respective fields of study to the real world by working directly in Harris County local government. The internship tracks are policy, public health, community affairs, engineering, technology, youth education, and general operations.
  • Refining soft and hard workplace skills in a professional environment.
  • Building on their academic work to connect classroom knowledge to specific public service projects and community engagement.
  • Engaging in leadership development through real-world experiences in a public service environment in the third largest county in the United States.
  • Adding a resume-building experience and references to their professional network.

HCLIP interns will serve as leaders in their community and contribute to placement offices and the community at large in the following ways:

  • Increasing staff capacity for projects through intern placements.
  • Ensuring that the workplace remains diverse by culture, race, and/or ethnicity in the public sector.
  • Increasing student knowledge regarding public service careers and opportunities while developing the next generation of leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions

HCLIP Summer Internship FAQs

1) What are the HCLIP criteria for interns? 

For admission into HCLIP, applicants must meet the minimum academic standards. This includes being currently enrolled in a community college, undergraduate or graduate school, demonstrating a solid academic record, and showcasing relevant skills and interests in the program's focus areas. Post-grads are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Please contact HCLIP if you have special circumstances.

2) Where will I be placed?

Interns will be placed in Harris County government and related non-profits. The placements are based on a combination of your skills, interests, and the needs of our departments. Placements include Harris County Precinct One Divisions such as Policy, Youth Education, Parks, Finance and Environmental Design, Harris County Public Health, the Office of County Engineering, Harris County Flood Control, Forensics, other county departments, Hester House, and Street Olympics. Participants are matched in host offices that align with their career goals.

3) What is the stipend?

Students are awarded $5,500 for 10 weeks. The stipend should allow the intern to focus fully on the work without taking on too many external obligations.

4) How long is the internship?

The exact dates may vary each year, and participants are expected to commit to the full duration of the program. The internship will last 10 weeks. Interns are allotted 3 flex/vacation days. Please see the current application for program dates.

5) Do you help find housing? 

Housing is not provided as part of the program. HCLIP is not able to directly assist interns in finding accommodations.

6) What are the typical work hours?

Interns work full-time, averaging 40 hours during the standard workweek. Specific details regarding work hours will be communicated by the host supervisor of your department upon placement.

7) Is there a virtual option?

No, the program recognizes the importance of flexibility. However, virtual internship options are not available. There may be some hybrid days, but the intern is expected to be available for in-person work daily.

8) Will I receive mentorship during the internship?

Yes, participants will be assigned a mentor from the host organization who will provide guidance, support, and feedback throughout the internship. Additionally, there may be opportunities for networking and mentorship events organized by the program.

9) Are there opportunities for professional development?

Absolutely. The program is designed to provide interns with valuable professional development opportunities. This may include workshops, public policy lunch and learns, and training sessions focused on enhancing both technical and soft skills to help participants succeed in their future careers.

10) Can I apply for the program if I am an international student?

Yes, the program is open to both domestic and international students. However, international applicants should ensure they have the necessary documentation to work in the host country and should be aware of any additional requirements or considerations. HCLIP does not sponsor Visas for the summer.

11) How are internship placements determined?

Internship placements are determined through a careful matching process that considers the skills, interests, and career goals of each participant. The program works closely with departments to ensure a mutually beneficial match for both the intern and the department.

12) What support is provided for professional networking?

The program facilitates networking opportunities through events, public service volunteering, virtual meetings, and social gatherings. Additionally, interns may have the chance to connect with professionals in their field through organized networking events or opportunities.

13) Are there opportunities for post-internship employment?

While there is no guarantee of post-internship employment, adding local government professional experiences to your resume will help you pursue your eventual career goals. You may use the experiences gained during the internship to secure employment in related fields.

Additional questions?

Please e-mail internships@cp1.hctx.net or call (346) 286-1962