Upward & Onward is a hands-on educational program in partnership with Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD), RED Development, and United Healthcare dedicated to empowering students with disabilities to be workforce ready upon graduation.

That’s where CityScape tenants come in! We need businesses to host a 9-week internship/job shadowing experience for qualified students:

– Students will be paired with a work environment that their job coach, classroom instructor and business liaison team signs off on as an appropriate match.
– Each student will get a look at 3 separate 9-week internship/job shadowing opportunities throughout the school year that will hopefully lead to employment post high school.

Below you’ll find information on:

The Support Staff
The Students
Business Involvement
2018-19 Timeline



The Support Staff

Intern Support

This class of students will have a large support group including:

1) Classroom Instructor: Ian Walden
2) Teacher’s Assistant – Will be selected by August
3) Job Coach for each student eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation (VocRehab)  through the State of Arizona
4) Business liaison team assisting in internship development, placement, and reassignment should that become necessary.

Business Liaison team:

Wendy Collison, Director of Exceptional Student Services at PUHSD
Sara Anderson, Director of Marketing at CityScape Phoenix
Ebony Holt, DD Liaison at United Healthcare





The Students

Selection process:

Qualifying students will be in their last year of high school and vary between the ages of 18-22. Students will apply from all over the Phoenix Union High School District. All students go through an interview process to:

– To practice interviewing skills.
– Ensure the students selected are ready to learn real world job skills and have the ability to complete this program.

Selection of program interns is made through a competitive process that includes a multi-component application and interview. In addition to program specific eligibility criteria, successful candidates must demonstrate the following:

– Strong desire/commitment to work competitively after graduation.
– Willingness to explore public transportation options to access the program and employment options.
– Ability to work independently with appropriate work etiquette and strong interpersonal skills.
– Goal to work at least 20 hours per week after program completion
– Ability to meet host business clearance requirements

Non-Paid Work Experience:

In lieu of receiving compensation students will participate in a structured classroom + work environment and walk away with both course credit and work experience.




Business Involvement

Expectations to Host an Intern:

– Sign the contract – signifying a willingness to host intern(s) at your business.
– Submitting onboarding process (minus payroll information) to Upward & Onward team to prepare student prior to day #1 of internship.
– Allowing a job coach to come in to your work environment for 1-2 hours (during the summer) to help define the internship and prepare anyone involved with a student being onsite.
– Communication/progress report updates on how student is performing.
– Optional participation in both the Kick-off Ceremony and Graduation Day activities.

What to be aware of:

– The students will be enrolled in this program through Phoenix Union High School approved curriculum.  This has been passed by the PUHSD board of directors so each individual will be classified as a student and therefore liability will fall to Phoenix Union should an incident arise.
– Participating businesses are not expected to provide or hire extra staff. The program does require a staff member assigned to each intern as a mentor.
– This is meant to be a job shadow experience with a current staff member on your team. If the student demonstrates the ability to complete tasks independently we encourage the transition into an internship role, but it is not required.
– The 9-week experience is meant to give each student a taste of what this work environment is like and whether or not it is an industry they feel comfortable holding a job within post graduation.
– This program should not burden normal operations of the business, but provide complementary support to the team and the business.
– The CityScape office tower will host a classroom for up to 12 students in the program’s first year.
– PUHSD Exceptional Student Services Division director Wendy Collison and her team have created a specialized curriculum focused on job preparedness to be accompanied by real work experience.

Hopeful Ending:

If both the business and student are thrilled with the experience and want to pursue permanent employment this program would be more than happy to make arrangements for the student to assume part or full time employment immediately or at the end of the school year.

Benefits to Businesses:

– This is an innovative public/private sector collaboration that ultimately breaks communication barriers and champions inclusion. We plan to engage with the media to talk about our excitement for the project and all participating entities will be involved in that story.
– Free Diversity Training from a variety of entities involved in disability services from both the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona.
– Free Leadership Development for staff working with interns.
– Based on similar programs, if you find a permanent fit you will experience a reliable worker who is excited to go to work.



2018-19 Timeline


– February 1: Applications open to students
– February 23: Student Applications due
– March 12-13:  First Round One-on-One Meetings with businesses
– March 20: Student Interviews
– March 23: Teacher Interviews
– March 26: Students Selected
– April 1: Teacher Selected
– May 31: Deadline for Business Involvement
– April-May: Round Two: Interested Businesses schedule a one-on-one meeting with the business liaison team
– May-July: Registered businesses meet with job developer (1 hour meeting) to help define internship
– July: Parent & Student Intro Night, Tour all participating businesses
– July or August: Press Event to announce Upward & Onward at CityScape
– August: First Internships are decided and paired with students
– August 6: First day of the 2018-19 school year & Upward & Onward at CityScape students’ first full day onsite.

2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR:

The year is broken up into trimesters. Each trimester will start out with 2 weeks of preparation for the next internship (travel training, uniform prep, on-boarding requirements e.g. food handler card acquisition etc.) where they will spend the full day in the classroom. When it comes time to start an internship a typical day for the student will look like this:

– 8am to 9am: Structured Class time and Preparation for Internship
– 9am to 1pm: Internship/job shadowing experience
– 1pm to 2pm: Classroom time to debrief


– August 6 : Day 1 in classroom
– Aug 6-24th: Full days in classroom preparing for internship #1
– August 27: 1st Day of internship #1
– November 2: Last day of internship #1


– November 5-16: Full days in classroom preparing for internship #2
– November 19: 1st day of internship #2
– February 8: Last Day of internship #2


– February 11-22: Full days in classroom preparing for internship #3
– February 25th: First Day of internship #3
– May 11th: Last Day of internship #3