Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CEO Program?
The Competitive Employment Opportunities (CEO) Program is a professional development, mentoring, and internship program that connects high school students with disabilities to mentors in their career fields of interest.
Who interns with the CEO Program?
Students who have demonstrated a strong desire to learn more about their career field of interest through professional development training, career mentoring, and a paid internship are selected to intern with the CEO Program. All CEO interns have been recommended by faculty members at their respective schools. They have also written compelling responses to short-answer questions on the program application, and they have represented themselves professionally at a panel interview. All CEO interns must:
  • Enrolled as a DCPS high school student, up to age 22
  • Receiving special education services, per an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • Demonstrate consistent, timely school attendance
  • Be pursuing a Diploma, as reflected in the IEP Diploma Decision Status
  • Agree and adhere to the CEO student contract and code of conduct
  • Be able to utilize public transportation to travel to and from program activities (free travel training is provided)
  • Express desire to engage in career training
Who does the CEO Program partner with?
DC Public Schools works with a diverse array of partners in order to provide meaningful experiences for CEO Program interns. Current CEO Program partners include: NASA, Northrop Grumman, Architect of the Capitol, Miller & Long and many others. Please visit the CEO Program partners page to see the full list.
Is the CEO Program free for mentors and partner organizations?
Yes, the CEO Program is free for mentors and partner organizations. There is no monetary cost to participate, as interns are paid by DC Public Schools.
What is the career focused project?
The career focused project is a project that demonstrates knowledge and skills necessary for success in an interns career field of interest. The focus of each project is determined by the intern and mentor during the first two career focused project sessions. CEO Program staff are available to assist with project ideas if necessary.
When does the CEO Program take place?
CEO Program mentors meet with students twice a month from January to June to work on career focused projects. Career focused project sessions take place on either Tuesdays or Thursdays from 4:30pm – 6:00pm. Internships take place in the summer and generally run for 80 hours from June through August, on a flexible schedule to be determined by interns and their mentors.
Could you please give me an example of a career focused project?
Of course. Below are five examples of excellent projects from previous years.
  • Mentor Organization: Architect of the Capitol / Project: Intern created a 3-D design of a music studio
  • Mentor Organization: NASA / Project: Intern gave a presentation on the landing of the Mars Rover
  • Mentor Organization: HSC / Project: Intern researched and gave a talk on Diabetes
  • Mentor Organization: Advisory Board / Project: Interns created business plan for a non-profit
  • Mentor Organization: Northrop Grumman / Project: Intern presented the steps to become an engineer
Where are the career focused project sessions held?
Career focused project sessions are held at DC Department on Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). RSA is located at 250 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20024.