Download a printable version of TIPS Internship Program FAQ’s

Important information on applying to become a TIPS Intern

What is TIPS?

TIPS employs teenagers in community service during the summer to work in non-profit organizations across the Puget Sound area.

Why is TIPS a good choice for summer employment?

  • TIPS is a rewarding summer job, where you can put your values into action and take part in meaningful work at a nonprofit organization

  • TIPS allows you to explore a career in public service and build connections within your community

  • TIPS internship participation is a valuable item on a resume or college application

  • TIPS allows you to give back to your community and earn a paycheck at the same time

What can I expect to get out of a tips internship?

  • Gain hands-on experience working for a not-for-profit organization, making an impact in the community

  • Take part in programs and projects where you are given the opportunity to explore your strengths as a leader

  • Test out teamwork, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills that can be applied in future academic environments or professional careers

  • Develop connections at your nonprofit, along with a deeper understanding of the needs of your community

Who should apply to be a TIPS intern?

TIPS is seeking enrolled high school students ages 15 – 19 who are:

  • Active or emerging leaders in their community

  • Interested in nonprofit organizations and exploring a career in public service

  • Enthusiastic about helping others

  • Hardworking and dependable

  • Able to take on projects with little instruction needed with job-ready communication skills

(please read further down for TIPS Hiring and Availability requirements)

Visit the TIPS application to apply online or download a PDF version of the application and mail it to TIPS.  The 2020 application will become available in late October 2019 and closes on Friday, February 28, 2020.

Each applicant must also submit two letters of recommendation to qualify for an internship. Your application and letters of recommendation may be submitted separately. Please read TIPS Letter of Recommendation requirements for obtaining and submitting your letters!

Application Deadlines - No late letters or applications will be accepted!

  • Intern Applications are due on Friday, February 28th, 2020

  • Letters of Recommendation must be received by Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

How do I apply to become a TIPS Intern? 

  • Fill out and submit an application.

  • Have two letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf.

  • Complete an interview (if application is accepted).

  • Confirm acceptance of the nonprofit internship placement shared in our job offer.

What must each applicant do to be selected for a TIPS internship? 

Teens apply to TIPS online or through a mail-in application and must submit two letters of recommendation (deadline: February 28, 2020).

After reviewing applications, TIPS will contact applicants to interview for an internship. Please note interviews are not guaranteed to all qualifying applicants. TIPS is a small, not-for-profit organization with limited personnel capacity to conduct interviews.

Interview candidates meet with two volunteer interviewers to conduct a job interview for the internship. The purpose of the TIPS interview is for our committee to get a better understanding of the applicants' skills and interests.

The volunteer selection committee then reviews all application and interview information to match teen applicants with our available internship placements.

How does TIPS select Interns?

We value our interns and the non-profit organizations we serve by providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical, mental or sensory disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other basis protected by federal, state and/or local laws. TIPS is committed to giving interns of all backgrounds the opportunity to work and contribute to the organizations we serve and to the community.

Non-Discrimination Policy

TIPS partners with a variety of organizations ranging in focus areas such as advocacy, arts, human services, environment, tutoring, childcare, and technology - to name a few.  Internships are located around the Puget Sound Region, with the highest density of nonprofit internships located in King County.  Interns are partially placed based on location and travel distance to the organizations we have available.  Please refer the full list of nonprofits TIPS has partnered with over the past 20+ years.

Where do interns work?

Where are the internships located?

The nonprofit organizations TIPS works with are located around King County and the surrounding Cities, with the highest density in the city of Seattle. Students come from all over the Puget Sound Region, and are asked about their location preferences on their TIPS internship application.

Please note that TIPS does our best to pair interns at locations convenient to where they live, but we are limited in meeting all requests 1:1. Applicants must make sure they understand the travel time to/from the neighborhoods selected on their application, using the method(s) of transportation they selected.

We will make placement decisions based on these responses; we expect all placed candidates to be ready to commute to their internships over the summer based on the information provided in the internship application.

No. TIPS pairs interns at designated, vetted non-profit organizations.

Each intern should be able to succeed at any of our nonprofit placements. Applicants may indicate their “Areas of Interest” on the application, which are not guaranteed for placement should an internship offer be granted to the student.

We pair interns based on recommendations from the intern interview and selection committee. This process takes into account each teens’ skills, interests, qualifications, location, and other application details in conjunction with the nonprofit internships available for the 2020 summer program.

Can the intern select their own placement?

Before hiring interns, TIPS reviews applications and invites candidates to interview. Individuals who qualify to interview are available to work during the TIPS summer internship program and will submit full application materials (application + two letters of recommendation).

TIPS sends update emails to all applicants to confirm their application and letters have been received. Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected for an interview by the end of March.  Internship interviews will take place through mid April.

TIPS will then then inform all interviewed applicants via email by April 31 of our hiring decision.

When will I know if i have been hired?


Each intern will commit to part-time schedule (about 20 hrs/week) for 6 to 8 weeks during the summer, with a total of 160 hours to complete over the course of the internship (see next section for full availability requirements).

TIPS interns are committed, punctual, and enthusiastic about community involvement. Interns communicate effectively with TIPS and their nonprofit organizations.

Assignments: Interns are required to complete three evaluations and bi-weekly short-writing assignments during the summer to report on the progress of their internships.

Public Speaking: Each intern will deliver a two-three minute speech about their summer internship at the end of summer Celebration of Service on Friday, August 14th. TIPS will provide instructions and a writing prompt for this public speaking assignment.

Events: Interns MUST attend these four mandatory events:  

  • TIPS Orientation – Wednesday, June 3, 2020 (two hours in the afternoon)

  • Leadership Training – Saturday, July 17, 2020 (1/2 day)

  • Day of Service – Saturday, August 1, 2020 (1/2 day)

  • Celebration of Service – Friday, August 14, 2020 (evening)


Hiring Requirements

Minimum age requirement: All applicants must be 15 years of age or older by May 31, 2020

Maximum age requirement: Applicants may not exceed the age of 19 years during the summer program, which concludes on August 14, 2020.

High School Enrollment: You must currently be enrolled in high school (graduating class years 2020 - 2023) to qualify for a TIPS summer internship.

Employment Eligibility: All selected applicants must be able to provide TIPS with proof of employment eligibility in the United States for employment authorization purposes. This includes a valid Social Security Number (SSN), photo ID, and mailing address (temporary or permanent accepted).

Location: TIPS is a Seattle-based program, with internship location options throughout the greater King County region. You must have an address in the state of WA to be considered for an internship; TIPS does not provide travel or accommodation services for program participants.

Availability: Please read further down for TIPS Availability Requirements

What kind of availability must i have over the Summer?

TIPS takes availability into serious consideration when reviewing internshipapplications. Interns are expected to prioritize their paid internship if accepted into the TIPS Summer program.

We understand many students have family, academic, and extracurricular travel plans during the summer, which is why we list our availability requirements in full. Failure to commit to TIPS mandatory dates and availability requirements will result in disqualification and/or dismissal from the summer internship program.

If you cannot meet these requirements, we ask that you do not apply for TIPS summer intern program and consider applying for the following year.

  • Hours: Each TIPS intern is allotted 160 paid internship hours to complete by the end of the summer. This usually pans out to about 6-8 weeks of part-time work. No intern may work more than 40 hours in a given week. Work week schedules are determined together between interns and nonprofits before the internship begins.

  • Summer Commitment: Interns must be able to dedicate a minimum of 6 work weeks to their internship, with at least 2 consecutive weeks at the beginning of the internship for onboarding and trainings.

  • Vacation / travel: Accepted interns may take a 1 week vacation during the course of their internship, as long as dates of absence are listed on their applications and interview materials. Vacations must not coincide with any of the dates below, and must not interfere with their ability to provide a consistent source of support to their intern over the summer. We will collect your summer schedule in the application and during your interview. TIPS does not pay vacation time to interns.

  • 2020 Mandatory Dates: 6/3, 7/17, 8/1, and 8/14

All interns must attend the pre-program orientation on June 3, 2020.

Internship start dates and summer schedules are determined between the nonprofit placement and the intern before the summer begins.

Most internships will begin the third week of June, with flexible start dates throughout the month of June and first week of July (as needed).

All internships must end by Friday, August 14, 2020.

When will my internship take place?

Interns are paid Seattle minimum wage, which will be $15.75 per hour in 2020. 

How much do TIPS interns get paid?