Youth Leadership Extension

Providing meaningful paid work

opportunities for Chester County youth 

Youth Leadership Extension is a program in which Trellis for Tomorrow connects young professionals (16-24 years old) with meaningful, PAID work experiences. Internships take place over the course of 4-8 weeks starting in the spring and running through the fall depending on intern and host site availability. Trellis works with each applicant to understand their interests and place them with social impact organizations whose values and work aligns well with the applicant’s specified interests and skills. The program provides leadership and professional skill development activities that transfer to a variety of occupations and careers.  

The YLE program is part of the PA State and Local Internship Program. 

Our 2020 YLE season has come to an end, but check back for updates on our 2021 season early next year. In 2020, 12 interns were connected with the following non-profit organizations for internship positions: 

Ann’s Heart in Phoenixville, PA 

Barnstone Art for Kids in Phoenixville, PA

Chester County Food Bank in Exton, PA

Good Samaritan Services in Coatesville, PA 

Green Allies in Pottstown, PA  

Orion Communities in Phoenixville, PA

Phoenixville Are Positive Alternatives (PAPA) in Phoenixville, PA 

Phoenixville Time Bank in Phoenixville, PA 

Trellis for Tomorrow in Phoenixville, PA

Program Goals 

Cultivate leadership potential and life and work skills in young adults with whom we have an existing relationship. 

  • Provide a pathway to transition young adults from a paid work and enrichment experience to a successful paid internship with an area employer. 
  • Provide young adults with meaningful, paid work experience in social impact organizations. 
  • Create a pipeline of successful young adult employees for both Trellis and other our area employers.
  • Recruit new participants, matching their career interests with employer needs.

What Our Participants and Hosts Say About YLE 

“I just wanted to thank you so much for this internship opportunity that you offered to me this year. It has been such a great experience and I really appreciate all that you have done to foster a connection between me and the Chester County Food Bank. Thank you again so much!” – Bella, Intern at Chester County Food Bank  

“[The most memorable aspect was] pretty much the entire job, it was one of the best scenarios I could have had.” – Hunter, Intern at Green Allies

“[Continue] to offer opportunities to people who need internships. I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a full resume when applying for future opportunities, because employers or hiring staff want to know that you have experience and applicable skills…Also, my internship was with PAPA, a non-profit, which teaches totally different skills than say Target or a restaurant where many young people have early jobs, and those skills translate into greater opportunities than those of a part-time high school job can.” – Caroline, Intern at Phoenixville Area Positive Alternatives  

Please note: Applying to the program does not guarantee placement. We are unable to provide transportation to and from internships at this time.


For any questions or for more information, contact: 

Bob Steininger

Director, Chester County Youth Programs

“I really enjoyed working with Ze’Aira and Trellis and look forward to working with them again. Also, Ze’Aira was such a great intern that we hired her on as part of our team after the internship was over.” – Tim F., Operations Manager, Good Samaritan Services 


“She [Bella] will continue on with CCFB through the fall as a Community Food Advocate on a part-time basis. We adore her!” – Wendy G., Director of Food Security Initiatives, Chester County Food Bank 


“Outstanding experience with Trellis. Bob was a great partner…Loved and appreciated this opportunity, and I look forward to a shared, cooperative future!” – Sean H., Executive Director, Barnstone Art for Kids 

Learn more about our partner organizations! 

Are you a non-profit looking for an intern?

Download an interest form here

Contact Bob Steininger for more information