Raleigh – High school girls interested in public service and a future career in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics can apply for summer internships in the Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program with N.C. Department of Administration (DOA).

This four-week, paid annual mentorship program with state government leaders is open to North Carolina high school girls, grades nine to 12. Ten to 15 positions are available.

Established in 2019 by DOA’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement, the Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program seeks to improve gender inequity by providing college-bound girls an opportunity to explore STEM-based careers within North Carolina state government.

“This program is designed to nurture the interest of our young women in public service while preparing them for careers that are often male dominated,” said DOA Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “We aim to change the current trajectory of STEM careers, building a better future for women, families and for the state of North Carolina.”

Interested students can apply for the Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program now through Feb. 24. Program and application information can be found on the DOA website.

Candidate interviews will occur in mid-March and selected applicants will be notified of placement in April. The mentorship program will run weekdays July 10 through Aug. 4.

All mentees are expected to work 40 hours a week, with time divided between working side-by-side with women leaders 24 hours per week and working on a group project 16 hours each week. The summer enrichment opportunity also includes lunch and learn sessions and field trips to various state government agencies.

Students will earn a $1,700 stipend at the end of the program.

This year’s participating state agencies include the departments of Administration, Commerce, Environmental Quality, Health and Human Services, Information Technology, Natural and Cultural Resources, Public Safety, Revenue, Transportation, Governor’s Office and the Office of State Human Resources.

In addition to working on a sustainability project, last year the Lady Cardinal mentees participated in a geology tour with the NC Department of Environmental Quality, explored the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Exploration Center, and engaged in lunch and learn sessions with state government leaders among many other educational activities.

The Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program purpose and goals are based on recommendations from the 2018 Status of Women in NC Employment and Earnings Report released by the Council for Women and Youth Involvement in collaboration with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The report highlights the growing disparity in employment and earnings among women and men in North Carolina. If unchanged, the gender wage gap will not begin to close until year 2060.

The report also underscores Gov. Roy Cooper’s N.C. Job Ready Initiative, which advocates for more internships, training and apprenticeships to prepare North Carolinians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.