How the Summer Youth Internship Program helped me prepare for a career in broadcasting

Like most young people I know, I was expecting to spend my summer vacation in 2023 sleeping, playing video games and relaxing. Then I heard about the Summer Youth Internship Program. When I first heard about it, I was a little bit concerned. I was not planning on working during my summer vacation time. However, as I learned more about the SYIP and the benefits I could receive in this work-learning experience, I became more excited than anxious.

Getting started was easy. I followed every piece of instruction provided by SYIP including creating a bank account, completing a pre-internship course, putting together my first resume, searching for an internship that fit my interests and needs and filling out my first W9.

Going through this process taught me to be more independent and responsible and improved my communication and time management skills, and I learned a lot about how to present myself professionally.

Picking the right internship

As a member of the TV production program at Doral Academy, I was very interested in video production, broadcasting and video editing. It made sense for me to search for internships that fell within my areas of interest. My selection was a direct result of the support services provided by Miami-Dade County Public Schools. They reached out to each charter school student that applied for this internship to ensure they could take part as well as M-DCPS students. Soon enough, my paid internship at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Public Education Bureau began.

Getting real work experience

During my internship period I gained invaluable experience in fire safety education, community outreach and public information. It helped me understand how to communicate effectively in an emergency. Among the tasks I was assigned was helping to post fire prevention tips and news on the department’s social media channels.

Even more important for my career goals, I had the privilege of being mentored by Robert Hernandez, a two-time Emmy Award-winning videographer with more than 25 years in the news industry. With him as a mentor, I learned the proper use of a camera, tips on shooting videos and other valuable insights only a person that has been in the industry for years could provide. He also gave me a once-in-a-lifetime experience by coordinating a tour at NBC6 and Telemundo. It was a dream come true to get an inside look at how a real newsroom operates.

During my internship, I recorded and photographed various events including fire truck demonstrations, station tours and other training, furthering my practical skills. While I was covering these events, I took many videos and pictures, and I was challenged by my mentor to create a video so I could demonstrate the knowledge and skills I developed at school and on the job. The video I created turned out to be my summer project for FBTV, and it drew compliments from classmates and teachers.

My time as an intern prepared me for a career choice, increased my knowledge of public service, enhanced my perspective about videography and helped me to apply concepts learned at my school to real-life situations. I have to say that this has been the best summer work experience I could ever have.

I would like to say thank you to The Children’s Trust, Miami-Dade County, Career Source South Florida, EdFed and the Foundation for New Education Initiatives for partnering with M-DCPS to fund this awesome work-learning experience and for investing your funds in the future of young students like me. To my school, Doral Academy Preparatory, thank you for enrolling for this program and for having the vision to use this experience to enhance my learning path and prepare me for the future. Finally, to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, thank you for having me as your intern, for treating me with respect and for your willingness to share your experiences and knowledge with me. Your dedication to the community impressed me, and I learned so much from you.

Michael Gonzalez is a 10th grader at Doral Academy who participated in the 2023 Summer Youth Internship Program and plans to do so this summer as well. Michael is pursuing a career as a video editor and broadcast anchor. To learn about the Summer Youth Internship Program visit