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Smart Teens Accepting Responsibility Today (START)

Through a paid internship program, we help high-school students build a solid foundation for mental health and a legacy of community service.


Engagement in meaningful work is an important building block of lifetime mental health. Through Smart Teens Accepting Responsibility Today (START), the ARDX Foundation offers a paid internship program that helps promising high-school students gain real-world experience and develop skills that can help them create a more secure, rewarding professional life.

Many high-school seniors from “at-risk” communities have aspirations and drive, but lack exposure to effective business practices or a firsthand understanding of what it takes to build a successful career. The START program is the ARDX Foundation’s answer to this need. The START program is comprised of four learning objectives that provide a holistic perspective on — and firsthand experience in — the skills needed to become a valuable contributor in the workplace and the community: communication and presentation; project management; community outreach; and team building.

This program will collaborate with other “community” organizations to make a difference in our community, as well as partner organizations, such as ARDX.

Students are encouraged to apply to the program, identifying those areas of business that are of most interest to them. Once chosen for the program, they are immersed in the business field they showed interest in. For example, students interested in marketing may be paired with a partner organization’s marketing department.

START students also participate in the development of two of our key programs, The Healthcare Academy and Women’s Wellness Celebration. While being mentored by ARDX Foundation leadership and staff, students are given opportunities to mentor others, creating a circle of positive reinforcement for a lifetime of community involvement.

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