The RISE program teaches students a variety of fundamental skills in local government

Victoria Tims, Associate Librarian at Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries and former RISE intern, during her internship.

This summer, Hillsborough County’s Redefining Internships for Student Empowerment (RISE) program will provide aspiring seniors from Hillsborough County public schools with the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience in local government during a eight-week paid internship. The objective would be to hire 30 student interns for the summer.

RISE began in 2017 to give up-and-coming public school seniors in Hillsborough County a chance to explore career paths, work full-time, and earn money. Since then, some sixty students have taken part in this summer internship program.

Interns are usually placed in county departments such as library services, emergency management, parks and recreation, pet resources, etc. Students also work with mentors to learn professional development skills, including resume writing, interviewing, and networking. The program aims to create a pipeline of future leaders in Hillsborough County.

Acquelyn Kindred, Talent Acquisition Partner with Hillsborough County Human Resources and RISE Program Coordinator, explained what makes this program unique.

“Program officials strive to align students with areas and tasks that interest them,” Kindred said.

Victoria Tims, a library associate at Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries and a former RISE intern, said that with her internship, she got to see the inner workings of the library system and more. In 2020, she completed an internship at the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library in Tampa.

Tims offered some advice to those who might be interested in applying for the internship: “Come into the internship with an open mind.”

This course begins on Monday June 6th and ends on Friday July 29th. To apply, certain qualifications must be met, such as having a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0; two letters of recommendation from teachers, community leaders or parents; and proof of vaccination for COVID-19 (or a request for a religious or medical exemption).

The deadline to apply is Saturday, April 16.

Students can apply by visiting the jobs section of the Hillsborough County website at