Pay Our Interns was founded in 2016 by two former unpaid interns of color. It is the nation’s leading organization fighting to ensure all students have equitable access to professional career paths through the implementation of paid internships countrywide—especially students from historically excluded communities.
We successfully do so through:
- Research by identifying gaps and establishing benchmarks;
- Advancing knowledge, practices and policy proposals for employers, students and governmental bodies;
- Shifting mental models by changing the narrative around who interns and the growing role of internships in today’s economy;
- Catalyzing change by activating stakeholders to take action toward ending unpaid internships.
POI’s aim is to develop pathways for advancement, with the objective of creating a more equitable workforce, more diverse leadership across all sectors, and a more just world.
For more information about our advocacy, please visit our sister site, Pay Our Interns Action.
Pay Our Interns was founded by Carlos Mark Vera and Guillermo Creamer Jr., two unpaid interns.
Together, Carlos and Guillermo worked as interns across five different offices, including the House of Representatives, the White House, the office of the D.C. Mayor, and the European Parliament.
In September of 2016, they compared experiences, and realized their hardships and challenges were similar. Weeks after the 2016 presidential election, the two focus on creating a non-profit. By June 2017, a first of its kind Congressional Report titled: Experience Doesn’t Pay the Bills listed which members of Congress paid and which did not. The report was received and shared by various news outlets highlighting the limited number of members who offered paid internships.
Since then, Pay Our Interns has:
- Worked with various offices, doubling the number of Senate Democrats who offer paid internships and increasing the number of Senate Republicans as well.
- Worked with candidates in the DNC chair race to ensure their support in offering a paid internship program if elected.
- In June 2018, Pay Our Interns successfully worked with the DNC, DCCC, and several Senate offices to help create their paid internship programs. Along with a group of bipartisan legislators, the team also worked to help create the first ever internship fund allocation for the Senate at a $5 million fund.
- A few weeks after a successful partnership with the Senate, the team worked with a group of bipartisan legislators on the House side and successfully secured $8.8 Million in intern funding.
- On October 3rd, 2018, the President of the United States signed a minibus budget that included $13.8 million in funding for an internship program in Congress.