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Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere kicks off 2021 Summer Internship Program



PLANO, TX – Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere kicked off his eighth and final Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program during a virtual Zoom meeting Friday morning.

The program connects Plano ISD students with local businesses and nonprofits for paid internships. Entities who have supported and participated in the program include the city of Plano and Plano ISD, as well as private corporations such as Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, NTT Data Services, Oncor Energy and Frito-Lay.

The virtual ceremony was co-hosted by 2020 PMSIP interns Olivia McCoy and Grant Stapleton, both seniors at Plano East High School and Plano West High School, respectively. The former, who interned for the Plano Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Plano Mayor’s Internship Program provided me the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of the corporate world and definitely aided in my decision-planning for my future career.”

“I was stoked when I found out that instead of spending my summer on my couch eating potato chips, I was going to be able to intern at Frito-Lay, the maker of those potato chips,” said Stapleton during his and McCoy’s introductory remarks.

A video montage followed, of which LaRosiliere said, “I had such a range of emotions going through watching that.”

The mayor continued, “Last year was mainly virtual, and we anticipate that this year will be a hybrid-type of experience. What could have been a big loss for our students turned into a life-changing event because they were some of the first interns in this new economy.”

In reflecting on the history of the program, LaRosiliere noted that when he launched PMSIP in 2014, only 32 students were enrolled. Over 600 students have since participated, with some alumni having already graduated college.

Plano ISD Superintendant Sara Bonser, who was also part of the Zoom conference, commended LaRosiliere for the program, saying, “You’re helping students gain real-world experience outside of the traditional classroom setting, and we can’t tell you how important we think that is … They are hungry to get out and intern.”

As LaRosiliere attempted to conclude the meeting approximately 30 minutes later, Stapleton interrupted, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, Mayor Harry… before we finish, we have a quick something for you.”

McCoy pointed to a card and a box that said, “Don’t open” on his desk and, despite the written message, instructed him to open it.

“On behalf of all the students who benefited from this program these past eight years, we just wanted to say thank you and tell you that we will never forget you,” she said.

Enclosed in the box was a crystal glass award that read, “For your vision, passion and commitment to a brighter future for Plano youth,” for which LaRosiliere expressed gratitude.

“The only thing I ask for all of y’all in return is to just do your best,” he said.

PMSIP will run between June 7 to July 30 and offer Plano ISD students both virtual and in-person placements that pay a minimum of $10 per hour for 20-40 hours of work per week. A virtual intern preparation seminar will take place on March 20, with a job fair happening on April 22 and an internship training program happening on June 2-3.