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Cooke Center Academy Internship Program

Cooke Center for Learning and Development, a nonprofit provider of special education services in New York City, offers our students internship opportunities as a required part of the curriculum for all high school and SKILLs students ages 14-21.

Cooke Internships help to:

  • Provide our students with valuable working experience which will later enable them to navigate professional working environments and maintain their independence through employment. 
  • Enable students to apply the adaptive and social skills that they have learned at Cooke to be empowered to confidently communicate and advocate for themselves. 

Host a Cooke Intern!  

Download the Cooke Internship Brochure here 

Click here to fill out the Cooke Internship Inquiry form


“The big picture for me is to encourage other companies to hire the students for internships. It was a great experience for both the students and for us, the employer. I hope in the future I can inspire others to do the same and create internships” -Laurence Verbeke Herbert, Le Pain Quotidien

Get Involved

The Cooke Center Internship Program collaborates with private and public sector employers who offer our students internship opportunities. Corporations and organizations large and small have benefited from opening their doors to Cooke Center students. Students are partnered with sites that match their strengths and interests and give them the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the organization.

Cooke Center interns have proven to be valuable assets to corporations and organizations through the necessary services they are able to provide based on their individual skill sets. Sample duties performed by interns include (but are not limited to):

  • Food preparation
  • Filing/copying

  • Making event badges

  • Alphabetizing

  • Preparing mailings

  • Assisting in classrooms

  • Caring for animals

  • Socializing with the elderly

  • Landscaping

  • Participating in construction projects

  • Archiving data/working with spreadsheets

Levels of Involvement

"It was a pleasure having a Cooke student with us this year.  She accomplished our hoped for goal of finishing the scanning of all of our photographs.  We all really enjoyed the time she spent with us. The Cooke Job Coach was very thoughtful.  Thank you for allowing us to host this year. " - Monica Hirsch of Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Companies and organizations can host a student as a volunteer or as a paid intern:

  • Cooke provides a stipend to student who participate in the internship program, therefore there is no expense to a company that chooses to host a student as a volunteer. 
  • Cooke staff will partner with the organization to assess how a student can be best utilized by the host company and determine how their role will be structured.
  • Internships typically run from October through June, once or twice per week, for 2 hour shifts and can be customized to accommodate the needs of the host company. 
  • Students are supported by a Cooke Center Job Coach while on the job. Periodic evaluation ensures that the partnership is beneficial for both the student and employer. 

Meaningful Engagement 

I have had the pleasure to work first hand with the Cook Students for the past couple of years. What started off as an opportunity to give back to the community has now become one of our favorite programs to work with. It is very fulfilling when a student requests to come back for another semester or you receive a card from the student saying that they were able to advance on to another role because of their time here at Moody’s. - Robert J. Powers

As a result of a Cooke education and our Internship Program our students are equipped with transferable skills which will enable them to achieve greater personal responsibility and independence. As a result of our efforts:

  • 87% of Cooke alumni are achieving independence through meaningful engagement in their communities.

  • 53% of Cooke alumni are actively employed versus a 17% national average for adults with special needs. (

  • 93% of Cooke students showed improvement in their Work Readiness Assessment score after completing their internship.

Interested in hosting a Cooke intern? Get more information by filling out our Cooke Internship Inquiry Form or contact Kasey Kenny, Chair of Vocational Services at or (212) 477-1297 x1120 to learn more about how to host a Cooke intern.  

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