I started an internship program in Hawthorne in 2017. The program matches local students with local businesses and you can find the details here.

The program is free and the budget is $0. 

I volunteer my time and the Louis Bay 2nd Library provides the space. I collaborate with the Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce and the Hawthorne High School, and the program has helped dozens of high school and college students.

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Why do we need internships? Because our kids need jobs and they need our help.

We all know that things are tough in New Jersey. Rents are high and home prices are out of reach. Good jobs are hard to find and the Coronavirus has made it even harder. And college? It’s great if you can afford it but it’s not for everyone. 

Lots of young people have considered their options and they’ve decided that the math just doesn’t work anymore in New Jersey. So our students are leaving the state in record numbers.

Internships are one way to help.  Students get experience and businesses get a burst of creative energy. It’s a win-win for Hawthorne. 

What’s the biggest challenge? Fear. Big businesses are afraid to invest and small businesses are worried about survival. Hawthorne residents are also afraid, worried about lost income and how to pay the bills. People are scared about their OWN jobs, so I often hear responses like this:

“How can I share with you when there isn’t enough for me?”

It takes courage to share with the next generation, especially when Coronavirus has the state on lockdown. It takes courage to share your time, energy, knowledge, experience, and connections.

If you have the courage to share, and you want to encourage local students, please shoot me an email at Robert.Martorana@Gmail.com