Sum­mer 2022 Recap — The Friends of Gov­er­nors Island Ambas­sador Interns


NYC’s ado­les­cent and youth pop­u­la­tion has had to endure so many chal­lenges over the past two years; spend­ing a great amount of time indoors and try­ing to adjust to the ever-chang­ing (and increas­ing­ly com­mon) hybrid mod­els of school, work, and recre­ation­al pro­grams. Because of this, The Friends of Gov­er­nors Island part­nered again with Futures and Options to pro­vide a hands-on, expe­ri­en­tial, and pri­mar­i­ly out­door intern­ship that pro­vides interns with valu­able work and life expe­ri­ences that they can car­ry with them through their pro­fes­sion­al and edu­ca­tion­al pur­suits. This sum­mer, the Friends wel­comed a team of eight high school-aged interns that served as Island Ambas­sadors, offer­ing their skillsets to improve the Vis­i­tor Ser­vices operations.

Futures and Options is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that part­ners with New York’s busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty to pro­vide career and intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties for under­served youth. With their exten­sive career readi­ness pro­grams, the interns that come from Futures and Options come equipped with train­ing and edu­cat­ion, pro­vid­ing Gov­er­nors Island with a valu­able and diverse work­force. Interns have reap­plied to come work on Gov­er­nors Island for mul­ti­ple sum­mers in a row, as our Island Ambas­sador Intern­ship is very well-liked and sought after amongst our cohorts each year.

The FGI Island Ambas­sador Intern­ship is a holis­tic sum­mer pro­gram that empha­sizes growth in pub­lic out­reach, com­mu­ni­ty build­ing, and eco­log­i­cal explo­ration and preser­va­tion. Through­out the five weeks, interns relate to the thriv­ing Island com­mu­ni­ty of artists, farm­ers, envi­ron­men­tal­ists, his­to­ri­ans, (and more!) to explore their career inter­ests and deep­en their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. 

As a team, the interns serve as the core Vis­i­tor Ser­vice cohort on week­ends, inter­fac­ing with the pub­lic reg­u­lar­ly while run­ning our Wel­come Cen­ter shops. On week­days, they sup­port the Island’s many cor­po­rate events and preser­va­tion efforts, from the his­tor­i­cal build­ings to plant life, and get to know the diverse orga­ni­za­tions that call Gov­er­nors Island home. Addi­tion­al­ly, the interns had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to staff some of the Island’s unique art instal­la­tions, such as the May Room, and were encour­aged to fos­ter rela­tion­ships with the oth­er orga­ni­za­tions in res­i­dence on the island, such as Beam Cen­ter, the West Harlem Art Fund, and Bil­lion Oys­ter Project.

Each year, The Friends of Gov­er­nors Island pro­vides new oppor­tu­ni­ties for these young pro­fes­sion­als. In addi­tion to meet­ing a week­ly require­ment of in-the-field vis­i­tor ser­vice expe­ri­ence, the interns attend­ed a career devel­op­ment work­shop focus­ing on resume build­ing, inter­view skills, and finan­cial lit­er­a­cy host­ed by the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island staff, along with off-Island net­work­ing events.

Over the course of the sum­mer, the 2022 interns pro­vid­ed near­ly 1,000 hours of direct ser­vice and helped thou­sands of vis­i­tors. While gain­ing pro­fes­sion­al work and ser­vice expe­ri­ence is para­mount for our interns, build­ing mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions with indi­vid­u­als on the Island and in the city they call home is also impor­tant to them as they gain con­fi­dence social­ly after endur­ing such iso­lat­ing times.

Stay tuned for infor­ma­tion on Fall intern­ship opportunities!