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Who are Explorers?

Explorers are multilingual and multiethnic youth ages 15-24 who participate in a mentoring program and are provided a paid internship to “explore” the pathway to becoming a teacher in Providence Public Schools.

Providing the Opportunity

Did you know that one barrier to pursuing a degree in education, or youth development, as a low-income student is the practical experience? Many young people struggle with finding the time to do unpaid practicums and internships when they have to work to pay for college and support their families. With support from the Governor’s Workforce Board, Department of Labor and Training, the City of Providence and Real Skills For Youth funding, Inspiring Minds supports 52 youth and young adults annually on their career path.

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School Year 2023-2024

The Explorers program has three components: work readiness skills training, group mentoring, and a work-based learning experience.

Explorers support Pre-K to grade 5 students in a Providence Public School. They are matched with students in small groups to develop a trusting relationship and to engage in structured activities, often around a classroom or homework-related topic. In addition to 80 hours of paid service learning, Explorers are paid to attend five individual mentoring sessions with the program director and attend a minimum of 20 hours of paid professional development annually.

Explorers must be 18 years old, identify as BIPOC or fluently speak a language that is spoken by students in Providence Public Schools.  Explorers must submit to a state background check and be able to commit to a minimum of three hours per week from September 2023 to June 2024.  Explorers must reside in Rhode Island and strongly commit to equitable education.

The program’s goal is to encourage multilingual and multiethnic youth to work in Providence Public Schools and to add another entry point to the education career pathway that will support an increase in the number of Providence Public School staff that is reflective of the Providence student demographics.

We hire Explorers directly at Inspiring Minds but also have slots for university undergraduates who are eligible for Off-Campus Federal Work-Study through their perspective college or university. There is space for 40 Explorers in our 2023-2024 school year program.

Ready to apply?  Click the “Become an Explorer” tab to be directed to our application. You can also contact Essence Harrison, the Workforce Program Director and Supervisor of the Explorers Internship Program. Her work email is 

For more information, please contact us here!

Have You Heard…

Today was a good day with the kiddos! One of my kids has been on vacation for the last week so today was his first day back. He was so excited to tell me all about his trip and what he and his family did while away and I was really excited to see him again! The kids and I worked on some consonant blends, blending sounds, and read a story. So overall it was a great day with the kids and I can’t wait to see them on Wednesday!

Today was a great day, the group of students that I worked with are efficiently and effectively doing their work. I believe that the students I have worked with have improved in areas that they were once having a hard time with before. Any improvement is wonderful even if they place a comma in the right place, or remember to capitalize the first letter of a character’s name in a book. These students are a pleasure to work with and to witness their growth is rewarding.

The kids were very excited to talk about their weekends to me, one student told me that his mother got engaged. Today we talked about author’s purpose using the jamboard resource and then we practiced the skills on IXL. After that we read a poem and discussed its purpose and also talked about the process of translating a poem. It was funny because one of the kids said, “I don’t know what I just read Ms. Ashley.” And I had to explain that poetry uses fancy language and has a hidden message so we have to break it down.

This meeting presented by Court has taught me how to view people of color, communicate and advocate with students no matter how different we are from one another, and how to make education a success. Court expressed how many educators of color including himself have experienced oppression, aggression, and not all of them have similar activities/experiences from other staff who identify as Non-African-American and how we must create a space where each staff has a chance to change education in schools. His presentation has resonated with me as it tells me how I must work with youth including those who identify as someone of color and help them feel proud and belonging and not make them feel as if they were the minority of the school/classroom.

I worked with the girls on fractions. I noticed that they reacted really positively to the puzzle game that we did, making me think that they are more visual learners and that I should incorporate those types of games more often. I did brain teasers with another student–he’s definitely incredibly smart so I think difficult brain teasers that challenge him are most enjoyable and most beneficial for him!

We worked on some math today for the first time! It was really nice to see the students come to that realization that it all makes sense.

Elisa helped me to understand that I am a leader and the emotions that I feel are real. Working on celebrating the accomplishments that I completed, as well as making sure that I take time out for myself.

My career goal is to work as a preschool teacher in Providence, so my volunteering helps me gain access to what my day to day work will look like, and it is amazing! My favorite part is spending time with kids. It truly makes me happy. I also learn from them, and it is exciting seeing the world through their eyes.

My career goal is to work as a preschool teacher in Providence, so my volunteering helps me gain access to what my day to day work will look like, and it is amazing! My favorite part is spending time with kids. It truly makes me happy. I also learn from them, and it is exciting seeing the world through their eyes.