Creating transformative high school internships

Staff Reports
Maria Carlota Palacios and her intern Eloisa Cortinas pose in the lobby of our Houston tower.

Maria Carlota Palacios and her intern Eloisa Cortinas pose in the lobby of our Houston tower.

For six years, Williams’ Houston office has partnered with Genesys Works, a nonprofit that pairs low-income high school students with corporate internships during their senior year.

Williams employees from various departments have valued the opportunity to become mentors and guide the students as they prepare for life beyond high school.

Recently, Maria Carlota Palacios, a Public Outreach Partner for Williams, and her intern, Eloisa Cortinas, were featured on the Houston Public Media program “Inside the Classroom”. The two shared how Genesys Works helps to better prepare disadvantaged students to plan careers.

“When I first heard about Genesys Works, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the program,” said Cortinas. “I knew getting that exposure would help me greatly in the future and especially for choosing a career.”

“We go through an eight-week training process in the summer where we learn both technical and professional skills,” she said. “If you are successful, Genesys places you in an internship where they think you would fit in best. Luckily, I and six other interns were placed here at Williams.”

“The partnership with Genesys Works has been successful because of the active employee involvement,” said Palacios. Employees act as supervisors, mentors and teachers; but in turn, also grow professionally as managers.

“Williams’ active participation in educating the future workforce and providing an environment for young people to learn and be successful in corporate America is one of the most tangible ways that we support the communities where we live and work,” she said.

Along with Palacios, other employees also share this same passion for giving back to their community and find the best reward in seeing their interns grow.

“Does it make me a better person? Of course,” said Richard De La Haya, a Lead Designer in Land Permitting at Williams. “I want my interns to walk out of here different than when they walked in, with a more accurate knowledge of the future and to have an idea of the reality after high school.”

You can learn more about Genesys Works here.