DeKalb summer program paying youth through virtual ‘academy’

DeKalb County is turning its summer employment program for young people into a virtual and educational affair.

Typically, the internship program pairs more than 300 people ages 14 to 24 with public and private employers for the summer. With the coronavirus pandemic upending those plans, DeKalb is instead implementing the “DeKalb Virtual Career Academy,” which will give 850 young people job training and tools through an online learning platform.

Online registration for the program opened Friday, May 8 and runs through May 14. Applicants will be randomly selected to participate and will be paid $9 per hour from June 1 to July 31.

By 3 p.m. Friday, more than 2,500 people had already registered, the county said.

“The exposure to career exploration strategies will ensure that our interns are career-ready because they will have the knowledge and skills required to be successful,” DeKalb County School District Superintendent Ramona Tyson said in a statement.

The virtual curriculum will include courses on life skills and job readiness training; interns can also get credentialed in industries including business technology, game design, website design, healthcare and education. Participants who are not in school can get access to GED courses and counseling.

DeKalb County is working with the DeKalb County School District, Georgia Piedmont Technical College and WorkSource DeKalb on the new program.

To qualify, applicants must be a DeKalb County resident aged 14 to 24. Visit for more information or to register.