2021 Program Application Closed

Since 1984, the Columbia Urban League has provided summer work experience through its Science Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) primarily for youth between the ages of 14 and 19.  Over the years, employment has proven to be an effective strategy for helping youth to become productive members of society by reducing disruptive behavior and school dropout rates that often lead to juvenile delinquency and gang involvement. We redirected this program to incorporate some Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In today’s technological work environment, STEM has become a pathway for livable income careers. ​

To be eligible to participate in the program, interested youth must complete a STEP application. The application requires personal information, prior work experience information, a personal reflection stating the applicant’s career interest, why he/she would like to work this summer and a photocopy of formal identification. 


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  • ​Due to COVID-19, STEP will be virtual. 

  • Participants must participate in orientation before receiving Virtual Job Shadow credentials.

  • ​Parents are required to attend orientation sessions.

  • Placements usually last for two weeks.

  • Participants work twenty hours per week. 

  • Participants must complete daily Virtual Job Shadow assignments (Daily Sign-on:  1:00pm – 5:00pm).

  • Participants must be in professional business attire every Wednesday for 'Sessions with Professionals.'

  • Participants earn a $200 stipend upon completion of a two-week work assignment and receipt of required documentation.



  • ​To provide career shadowing to introduce participants to real-life work experience.

  • To mentor participants to increase their knowledge of business etiquette and work ethics.

  • To offer structured environments to help build participants’ self-esteem.

  • To encourage networking opportunities for exposure to different career fields.


​If accepted to participate in the program, the student and his/her parent (guardian) must attend a mandatory job-skills training/orientation before receiving Virtual Job Shadow credentials. After successful completion of two 20-hour workweeks, the participant will receive a $200.00 stipend and a certificate of completion.

Application Closed

*The start date for STEP placements is Monday, June 7, and end on Friday, July 1, in two-week cycles. Please note that this date is subject to change.

​**Although we desire to serve all eligible applicants, the number is students served by this program is contingent upon the amount of funding we receive.